The whole city lights up during festivity, but the entire vibe changes during Durga Puja. Last two years there were no celebrations due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which forced us to stay at home for our safety. But this year, with no cases, and less risk, every city is all deck up to welcome Durga Maa.
Durga Puja is actually, the celebration of ‘life’ and the joy of ‘living’ more than anything else. It’s like all the joys of this ‘city of joy are out on its very streets. Durga Puja becomes an expression of the city itself. It is almost that the city bursts into laughter during these few days.
It won’t be entirely an exaggeration to say that everyone spends a significant amount of their time planning and deciding what to do during the Pujas. Most of them wear multiple sets of clothes during the entire puja and also relish delicious food. From warm Khichudi, papad Bhaja as bhog in pandals to the street stalls set up to serve delectable dishes like fast food, chat, Gupchup and sweets. So, before the pujas, the air is thick with a feeling one gets just before the starting, the unravelling of something extremely huge — the feeling you get just before reaching the peak of a much-awaited climax.
The atmosphere during puja time entirely changes as everyone is in a festive mood. You will witness people visiting shops and buying all the necessary items. This year the zest is even more energetic as people without any restrictions and protocols can visit places and buy whatever they want. Weekends are the busiest days, as everyone wants to come out and enjoy their time with friends and families.
But the most awaited thing during Durga Puja is the huge and beautiful pandals. Nothing can beat watching those enormous yet well-crafted themed pandals. By walking down, the lanes and its nook and corner particularly in twin cities, you slowly start feeling the pulse of the city. It is a reverberating rhythm which amplifies and resounds in the sounds of the dhak. It’s a feeling. You can not only hear it but feel it — you get goosebumps when the dhakis first begin to play their beat. The city reverberates with the echo of conch shells, which is no less than a divine feeling.
Well talking about the idols, artisans are all set and burning the midnight oil to give the final touches to it, whereas the organizers are pulling out all stops to embrace the good old days of the pre-pandemic fete. The streets are already bustling with people of all ages and communities from across Odisha to soak in the festive spirit. This time post-pandemic organizers are all set to be upbeat about conducting a grand celebration.
As well all know that Cuttack is famous for its filigree work and during Durga puja, the ‘Chandi Medha’ or the silver tableau looks spectacular. The use of delicate and intricate silver filigree work in decorations is the speciality of Cuttack’s Durga Puja.
Also, the festival is celebrated in a big way at the Kataka Chandi Temple, one of the ancient temples in the state located near the Mahanadi River bank. It is dedicated to Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of Cuttack. The puja is a symbol of communal harmony as all members of the community take part in the festivities. Along with that singing, functions will also be a part of the festival. As the function was stopped for past two years, so this year it will be a grand manner where the people can enjoy. But yes, with the enthusiasm there will be an unbearable crowd around the city, as each and everyone is excited to be a part of it.
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