Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Dola Jatra in Cuttack is all set to witness something new as the Kathagada sahi Madanmohan Jew Durga Puja Committee has come up with a ‘Dola Bimana’ (palanquin) made of gold.

As per reports, the Bimana has been made with 2.5kgs of golden filigree work.

Asked about the golden Bimana, an office bearer of the Puja Committee said, “We had made a Silver tableau in 2008, then a golden crown for Maa Durga in 2015. So when the Central government awarded a GI tag to Cuttack for filigree works, we decided to make a Bimana this year for Lord Dolagovinda with gold filigree”

“Kathagada sahi is an artisan’s area. Our ancestors have made our locality famous by creating many unique Bimanas and tableaus. We held a general meeting in our sahi last December and decided to promote our filigree work by making a Bimana with 2.5kg of gold. We had a budget of Rs 2.5crore for the Bimana,” said another office bearer of the Puja Committee.

The festivities begin mostly from Phagu Dasami, when the deities are carried on palanquins or Bimanas with much fanfare along with a musical troupe, especially performing at devotional events, called kirtan mandalis.

The palanquins are decorated with flowers and fresh seasonal fruits. The procession begins during the evening when devotees scatter abir (a natural red powdered colour) onto the deities. The procession visits door-to-door when people smear colours and offer various eatables to the deities.

In Cuttack, not only are deities of the local areas carried from house to house every evening for these five days, after the processions all the kirtan mandalis get together for melana or revelry of devotional music till morning at the Chandni Chowk Melana Ground.

There are 105 kirtan groups in the city that join the festivities of Dol yatra and play cymbals, mridang and various other instruments along with devotional songs

The six-day Dola Jatra concludes on Dola Purnima. On the final day of the Purnima, the celebration culminates with a swing festival for the deities.

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