For five days during this time of the year, there is a frenzy surrounding Noida Kalibari. This time, too, despite Covid-19 restrictions, there is no objection to worship with devotion and respect.
Bengalis living in this modern city of Uttar Pradesh, which is part of the national capital region, can partake in Durga Puja at the Kalibari. The puja celebrations by Durga Puja Samiti of Noida Bengali Cultural Association is in its 39th year.
Complying with all Covid-19 safety guidelines, the puja committee is also organising cultural programmes for Durga Puja, which officially begins with Mahashashti on Monday. The puja this time, however, is not as lavish as in previous years.
Anupam Banerjee, a members of the puja committee, said, “The work of making the idol is over. The mandapa artists from Medinipur, West Bengal, are giving it last-minute touches. The rehearsal of the domestic cultural programme is in full swing. The members of the committee will take part in the cultural programme and every individual will perform Chandipath.”
Banerjee said the custom of unveiling the idol on Mahashasti evening has been going on for many years.
While Durga Puja was allowed in Delhi at the last minute, most puja committees will not be able to celebrate due to strict rules. The picture in Uttar Pradesh, however, is different. According to instructions issued by the Yogi Adityanath-led state government, the Durga idol is smaller this time. Bhog will be served through online booking and home delivery. Food stalls, however, are banned this year.
The Noida Kalibari puja is probably the largest and most elaborate in Uttar Pradesh. It was inaugurated by local MLA Pankaj Singh, son of defence minister Rajnath Singh. Special guests included former union minister and MP Mahesh Sharma and Noida district magistrate Olympian Suhas L Yathiraj.