After Kolkata, the millennium city of Cuttack is the place to be during Durga Puja. The cultural capital of Odisha is the place where Dusshera is celebrated with much pageantry outside West Bengal.
This year, 158 pujas are being held in Cuttack, while more than 100 are being held in Bhubaneswar.
At present, 21 puja committees in Cuttack have put up the Chandi Medha and 5 of the elite puja pandals have decorated the idols with gold crowns and jewels.
PHOTO GALLERY: Durga Puja 2015 pandals in Bhubaneswar, Odisha
As per reports, the Cuttack Mangalabag Puja Committee members preferred to go in for a brand new ‘Chandi Medha’ this time as it marks the Nabakalebara year of Lord Jagannath.
Tight security arrangements have been made in Cuttack, where silver filigree work, popularly known as chandi medha, is on display at 21 puja pandals.
The Manglabagh puja committee has chosen ‘peacock’ theme for their backdrop and erected a beautiful masterpiece with four quintals of silver. While on the other hand, Pithapur Kalia Dalna and Budhi Thakurani puja committees have used 220 quintal and two quintal of silver respectively in their madhas.
The Durga Puja in Cuttack dates back to the early fifteen century when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the pioneer of the Vaishnav school of Bhakti yoga, visited the city. According to historians, Sri Chaitanya began the Durga Puja tradition in Cuttack, then capital of Odisha.
The first silver filigree puja pandal was said to have been installed in 1556 in the Chowdhury Bazar area of Cuttack.
The earliest Durga Puja was reportedly held in the Kazi Bajaar area of Cuttack in 1832 by both Odia and Bengali employees of the East India Company.
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Now the silver and gold jewellary clad Durga is seen in many lanes and pandals. The pandal is permanent throughout the year in the suburbs of Cuttack, where regular worship is done for the divine mother, and idols are made only during Dussehra time and immersed after that.