Kumar Rajiv Nayan

Ara : Take your pick—The Laxmi Narayan Temple of Karnataka, Mahakaleshwar Temple of Ujjain, Jain Temple of Rajgir, Shiv Temple of Kolkata, Shiv Temple of Jaipur, Dakshineshwar Temple of Kolkata and so on. With about 100 Durga Puja Samitis putting up their best show through elaborate pandalas and decors, people of Ara are spoilt for choice. They gathered in large numbers to have glimpse of the grandeur of the marvelous piece of art. The beauty of the interiors, the lighting works and height of pandals and idols of the goddess Durga left the on-lookers quite impressed.

And it is not just temples or architectural beauty, youngsters in the town have gone a step ahead in designing a pandals at Mirganj on light and sound showing Maa Durga getting supernatural powers from different lords in her bid to kill Mahishasur. Fight between Maa Durga and the demon is being shown through light and sound show at Sapana Cinema Road.

Kolkata Durga Puja celebrations is world famous but Ara is not far behind when it comes to beautiful pandals and lavishness. In fact, the entire Ara town has turned into a ‘City of Temples.’ Sri Sri Durga Puja Samiti, Garden Club, near Girija Mor is replicating the Shiv Temple of Jaipur and its 85 feet high and 70 feet wide pandal has been beautifully decorated with colourful lights and sound.

The pandals at Chandawa Mor, Mahavir Tola, Devi Sthan, K G Road, D T Road, Bank Colony are other sites of attraction for the devotees where they queued up for offering prayers in large number. The pandals are  replicas of a Shiv Temple of Australia, Laxmi Narayan Temple of Karnataka, Mahakaleshwar Temple of Ujjain, Jain Temple of Rajgir, Shiv Temple of Kolkata, Dakshineshwar Temple of Kolkata. On Mahadeva, an idol of Maa Durga is a crowdpuller.

A pandal representing replica of Victoria of Kolakata has been set up at Ministerial Quarters at Ara. Artists from Kolkata have been called for the purpose and over Rs 10 lakh has been spent on it, said Amit Kumar Pandey, president Group Kala Mandir. A pandal replicating Laxmi Narayan Temple of Karnataka cost about Rs 7 lakh and artists from outside Bihar have been called for erecting the pandal, said Baul Yadav, president, Bhawani Kala Mandir Durga Puja Samiti

Durga Puja near Aranaya Devi temple is about 70 year old and this year too, the organizers of the Puja erected a pandal of about 75 feet and idol of Maa Durga 40 feet high. A pandal, said to be replica of famous Mahakaleshwar Temple of Ujjain, has been set up near Syndicate at a cost of Rs 3 lakh, said Kamal Kishore Pathak, president, Navrang kala Mandir. He said here the Puja is being organized for the last 58 years.

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