A festive fever has gripped West Bengal, with artisans decorating makeshift temples and giving final touches to idols of the Hindu Goddess Durga ahead of the popular Durga Puja festival.
Agradut Uday Sangha's Durga Puja pandal in Bhawanipur in Kolkata is planning to make Swami Vivekananda's statutes with an aim to pay tribute to the Swami on his 150th birth anniversary.
The makeshift temple committee, which is in its 66th year of puja celebrations this year, has decided to decorate the temple with colourful buttons.
One of the members of the Agradut Uday Sangha's Durga Puja Committee, Soumen Burman, said artisans have used buttons to depict Hindu mythological characters on the walls of the makeshift temple.
"There is a saying by Swami Vivekananda that those who believe in victory, believe in God. So, based on this, we have showcased an act of rescue by showing Gautama Buddha sitting, a man shooting a bird with an arrow, and then, Gautama Buddha helping the injured bird. So, based upon this rescue work, we have made various designs on the walls," said Burman.
The committee's cultural secretary, Biswanath Bose, said paintings based on Swami Vivekananda's life would also be displayed.
"The work in our pandal (makeshift temple) is based on the relief work, which is made by button and many lotuses, which is made in fibre. We have also displayed Swami ji's life in our paintings which is made in clay in Krishnanagar," said Bose.
Preparations of idols and ornaments engage participation of workers on large scale and thus generate short-term employment opportunities.
Durga Puja is one of India's most famous festivals. Legend has it that "Asuras" or demons from the underworld invaded the heavens after a hundred year war with the gods.
The Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu created Goddess Durga, the most powerful of all gods and goddesses, to vanquish the demons, hence the term 'Durga Puja' which means worshipping the Goddess.
It is believed that the Goddess makes her annual visit to the world and the festivities are meant to welcome her.
On this occasion, homes are re-painted and decorated to 'receive' the goddess. Small idols of the goddess are also installed to worship her.
The festival culminates with the immersion of the 'Durga' idols into water bodies. (ANI)