KOLKATA: Durga Puja is one of the grand festivals welcoming the supremely powerful Goddess Durga who is worshipped for five days in the entire eastern region of India. Kolkata is the forerunner in these festivities as it welcomes the autumnal festival with all glitz and glamour.
The people in Kolkata are not hesitant to shell out a boatload of money to welcome their dear 'Maa Durga' as reports stated that more than 4500 crores are spent on this five-day puja extravaganza in Kolkata alone. If state figures are taken into account then the entire West Bengal spends a whopping 15000 crores on this autumn festival.
That being said, Puja committees in Kolkata always try to woo the pandal hoppers with over-the-top puja pandals where sometimes they recreate the mighty Burj Khalifa and sometimes try to even recreate an entire village of Germany.
This year, Kolkata's Sree Bhumi Puja committee has decided to recreate the St.Peter's Basilica church of Vatican city. Last year they recreated the Burj Khalifa with a 145 feet replica of the majestic building which received a lot of footfall.
This year the Sree Bhumi Sporting Club is celebrating its 50th year of existence and they have tried to make the golden jubilee special by designing the Puja pandal on the lines of the St.Peter's Basilica church of Vatican City.
The Puja committee has tried to give the pandal hoppers a unique and real-life experience of visiting the St.Peter's Basilica as the main pandal depicts a renaissance-styled church, which is constructed at a width of 54 feet and a height of 65 feet. Replicas of several Renaissance and Baroque works of art which are found within the genuine St. Peter's Basilica are also included in the pandal to give an authentic experience to the pandal hoppers.
A total of 250 workers over a period of two months were engaged in building this one-of-a-kind pandal.