A pandal of gamchhas, an idol of soap and an exhibition on the Bhuli eviction drive — Durga Puja in Dhanbad has it all.
Like Bokaro, temples dominate the pujascape here but what sets Dhanbad apart is innovative use of material and, of course, unique themes.
This is just one part of the festivities. The district boasts a rich tradition, too, as Durga Puja is celebrated in old temples at the estates of Jharia, Katras, Nawagarh and Tundi.
Bhuli remains the main attraction though with more than half a dozen pandals being modelled after famous temples and palaces.
The Bhuli B block Puja has already become the most popular pandal of the area — the mandap is a model of Somnath Temple of Gujarat. An exhibition on the evacuation drive in the township is being held near the pandal. Organisers have tried to show how the BCCL authorities were evicting the people in Bhuli to make way for Jharia residents with the help of paintings and cut-outs.
Two other historical monuments — Umaid Palace of Jaipur and Gulabi Bhavan — have been constructed at C and E blocks, respectively.
Besides Bhuli, the Jharkhand Maidan Puja is drawing crowds. Here, the pandal has been made of more than 7,000 gamchhas (red towels) of Bankura in Bengal.
The Raj Bhavan of Jharkhand has been replicated at steel gate in Saraidhela, about 5km from Dhanbad railway station. The pandal was made with mats of natural grass.
The pandals may have become talk of the town, but the idol at Manaitand has clearly stolen the show. More than 1,440 soaps have been used to give shape to the idol.
Vikash Kumar, a member of the puja committee, said that the entire idol, including the jewellery, clothes and face, have been made of soaps.
The committee, which has been celebrating Durga Puja for the past 13 years, is famous for using innovative materials for making idols. Earlier, they had come up with idols of newspaper, radium, banana, peacock feather, walnuts, vegetables and spices.
September 26, 2009 / Telegraph