AGARTALA, Oct 4 � The five-day Durga Puja festivities concluded in Tripura today. With around 2,500 Durga pujas across the State, the State was buzzing with festive fervour this season.
What drew the people to the various pandals were the thematic displays and thought provoking messages put up by the organisers and clubs who spared no efforts to put up grand celebrations.
The Oikatan Juba Sangatha (Shantipara), with a budget of Rs 25 lakh, brought idol and pandal artists from Kumartuli in Kolkata.
This year, the club�s puja theme was bio-diversity in sea. The puja was held amidst a big pond with fish and other sea creatures roaming at the bottom of sea.
A colourfully lit up sea bed, with different types of aquatic plants, provided an attractive setting for the puja festivities. Designers from Kanthi in Midnapore district of West Bengal were decking up the theme.
Among other themes on display this year included global warming put up by Shantikami Sangha, Kunjaban. The club placed a big globe on a lotus to convey the need to handle the Earth with care.
At the 116-year-old puja in the house of Hara Chandra Debbarma, Demon Ashura apologises with folded hands to the Goddess.
�We are Vaishnavites and don�t believe in violence. Ashura, a symbol of evil is defeated by Durga, the symbol of good. He apologises to the Goddess for his misdeeds and prays for death at her hands to enter paradise,� BK Debbarman, a former Director of the Archaeological Survey of India and the grandson of Hara Chandra Debbarma, said.
Started nearly 150 years ago by King Radha Kishore Manikya Bahadur, the Durgabari puja in West District still enjoys State patronage with the administration sanctioning funds.
Radha Kishore, the most prominent among the Manikya Kings, was a patron of arts and letters with poet Rabindranath Tagore among his personal friends.
According to the record of the State administration, last year about 2,500 pujas were held in different parts of the State of which more than 1,000 pujas were held at Agartala.
The puja frenzy started in this small State months before the actual occasion.
From sculptures of Nalanda Viswavidyalaya to a sinking Russian submarine, devastation of Kedarnath temple in Uttarakhand due to flash floods, replica of Somnath temple or even the changing lifestyle in rural areas were some of the themes on display at different puja pandals this time.
More than 10,000 security forces including the State police, paramilitary Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and CRPF were deployed to keep a close vigil and avert any untoward incident. The Border Security Force (BSF) were deployed to maintain a close watch on the State�s 856 km border with Bangladesh as a precautionary measure. � PTI