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'Biggest' Durga idol vies for supremacy in West Bengal

PTI 18 Oct 2015, 21:37:59 IST

Kolkata: A puja committee in South Kolkata claims to be putting up the tallest Durga idol in the world for which it had initiated a teaser advertisement months in advance.

"There have been idols of other deities like Lord Shiva in Karnataka (112 ft) and Hanumanji in Maharashtra (105 ft) but they are all housed in permanent structures while the world's tallest Durga will be here only for five days," Secretary of Deshapriya Park Durgotsav Committee Sudipto Kumar told PTI.

The Puja committee also plans to apply for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the idol whose exact height has been kept under wraps.

The idol is being made with cement and not from traditional clay due to its unprecedented height and there will be fiberglass coating on it, the organisers said.

"Despite being a gigantic structure, the deity will retain all the features of a traditional Durga idol and there will be no compromise in aesthetic and devotional aspects," sculptor Mintu Pal said from the spot where work is going on at a frantic pace.

The fire brigade and police have given their no objection to the idol on the condition that it will not be inside the pandal and the puja committee is following it in "letter and spirit", the organisers said.

According to the fire brigade conditions, such a tall idol cannot be kept inside a makeshift pandal so it will be put up just outside the pandal with the sky as its canopy, the organisers said.

"While the contest is for calculating the exact height, the idol by all estimates is going to be a gigantic one, a landmark by all means," Kumar said.

The organisers and the sponsor, a cement major, will declare the contest result after Mahalaya which marks the start of the countdown to Durga Puja, Kumar said.

With this contest declaring prize at three levels, the puja committee plans to trigger a buzz about the festivities in the entire north-east region, Kumar said.

For the winners from the city, VIP entry to the pandal will be provided, for those in the suburbs an opportunity to visit Kolkata (with) all expenses paid and for those from other states it means flying down to the city with the travelling expenses paid by the organisers-sponsor.

"Our multi-pronged campaign through hoardings, teasers, digital media and TV, "Eto Boro Sotti' (Such a big truth) had been unleashed three months back and the counter-campaigns by contenders Naktala Udayan Sangha and Agradoot Uday Sangha and Santosh Mitra Square show that we have succeeded in hitting the bull's eye," Kumar said.

Kumar's elder brother and MMIC of KMC Debashis Kumar, the President of award winning rival Tridhara Sammilani puja in the neighbourhood, says, "We will be happy if there are more footfalls in Deshapriyo Park puja.

"The tagline is brilliant, it shows the professionalism Durgapuja has attained over the years," he said.