Kolkata offers Drive-in Darshan for Durga Puja amid COVID-19

This year marks 100th birth anniversary of Satyajit Ray. Also, Durga Puja is around the corner, so three committees have joined hands to choose Apu Trilogy as the theme for the three marquees. Moreover, they have found an alternative to COVID-19 social distancing. So, Badamtala Ashar Sangha, 66 Palli and Kalighat Nepal Bhattacharjee Street Club are presenting drive-in darshan for Durga Puja this year in Kolkata. The event is titled ‘Bhooter Raja Dilo Bor’.

Durga Puja in Kolkata 2020 | Dates, Pandals, Rituals, Food | Holidify
Kolkata Durga Puja

It basically comes from a song in Satyajit Ray’s Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne. It translates to ‘The King of Ghosts has Given Boons’. Mridul Pathak, a sponsor of Badamtala Ashar Sangha, came up with the idea of a drive-in darshan .

The in charge of the event is Pathak’s non-profit organisation International Foundation for Sustainable Development (IFSD). The concept of drive-in darshan is to avoid mass crowding near the pandals.

So, this will work as follows:

Devotees will slow down their car when they enter the pandal. The first of which will be Badamtala with scenes from Pather Panchali. People can view the idols facing the lane fromthe car itself and drive on to the next pandal. This is 66 Palli with Aparajito. These pandals are in the gap of 1 km.

So, the last in line is the pandal by Nepal Bhattacharjee. This will depict scenes of Apur Sansar. Also, before entering each pandal, all cars will be sanitised through a pipe shower.

For pedestrians a separate lane will be there. There will be thermal checking and hand sanitisation installed in place. No visitor will be allowed to go near the deities.

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