Patna: Organisers rule out glitzy Navaratra amid Covid-19 | Patna News

PATNA: Even as Navaratra began on Saturday, the usual glitz and shine associated with the celebrations are missing this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be no statue, pandal, cultural programme, ‘bhog’ or ‘prasad’ as organizers will only perform ‘kalash sthapana’ and ‘arti’.
The Adalatganj Puja Committee will erect no pandal or install Goddess Durga’s statue for the first time in 98 years. “Only an enlarged photo of the goddess will be displayed at the venue of the ‘kalash sthapana’. Besides, there will be no ‘bhog’ or ‘prasad’ after the Puja,” the committee’s assistant secretary, Partho Mukherjee, told this newspaper.
The PWD Puja Committee will also not prepare ‘bhog’ or ‘prasad’ this time. Its member Sagar Bhattacharya said, “Only ‘kalash sthapana’ and ‘arti’ will be done during Durga Puja.”
Mahavir Mandir Trust secretary Kishore Kunal pointed out that Puja celebrations would be a low-key affair. “Only ‘havan’ and ‘paaths’ will be performed by the priests inside the temple complex,” he added.
All efforts will be made to avoid unnecessary crowd at the Ramkrishna Mission Ashram on Nala Road. “There will be no ‘bhog’ this year,” said Prabuddh Biswas of the ashram’s Puja committee.
‘Unprecedented’ times: Old-timers recall that a large number of devotees from different parts of the state used to visit Patna during Durga Puja celebrations. Idol makers, clay modellers, decorators, hawkers, vendors, cloth dealers, tailors, musical bands, florists, confectioners, grocers and priests would earn well during the nine-day festivities.
Terming this year’s Puja celebrations “unprecedented”, Patna University’s ancient India history and archaeology department’s former head Jayadeo Mishra said, “During the 1920 Spanish Flu pandemic, the situation was not as alarming as it is today. That said, there is no harm in performing Puja rituals without any pomp and show this year.”

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