Ujjain: The 9-day festival of ‘Sharadiy Navratri’ dedicated to Goddess Durga will begin this Thursday, and city dwellers have geared themselves up to welcome the Goddess with great fervour and pomp. Artisans in different parts of the city are busy giving final touches to idols of the Goddess, while youngsters are in waiting in anticipation for the much awaited ‘garba’ events to be organised throughout the city.
Artisans from Bengal are busy making Durga idols in the Bengali colony while local artisans are also ready with beautiful idols to be placed at main squares and colonies. One local artisan Chandrashekhar Kurin stands out amongst other artisans as he has been making eco friendly idols for the past 40 years. He uses special clay brought from Kolkata to make the idols and to give them solid support, special grass from Raipur is used. He makes idols ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 10, 000. A team of six other artisans help him in his task of making eco friendly idols, which he began 6 months prior to the beginning of the festival.
To gain leverage from the increasing participation of youth in garba events, markets have been decked up with ‘garba’ costumes and accessories to ‘dandiya’ sticks used to play ‘garba’. Some vendors are selling Gujarati style ‘garba’ specific costumes for men and women near Freeganj over bridge. The costs of women costumes range between Rs 400 to Rs 1000, while for men its Rs 500 to Rs 1100. Main markets of city like Freeganj, Satigate, Gopal Mandir have also been abuzz with enthusiastic youth and children after lacklustre market conditions during ‘shraddh paksha’. The Harsiddhi temple and Chamunda Mata temple have been decorated for the festival. Thousands of devotees pay their obeisance daily in these temples during the 9 days of Navratri.
No ‘garba’ in well kept and developed parks
As a controversy brewed, following the ban of garba events by Ujjain Municipal Corporation in Indira Nagar Park, mayor Meena Jonwal cleared the air over the prospect of conducting ‘garba’ events in parks, by saying that UMC would not allow any public event in well kept and developed parks of the city. Developed parks like the swimming pool park will be out of reckoning since significant plantation has been done here and is most likely to be vulnerable to damage, if such events are hosted. A committee will be formed, which will give permissions to non developed parks after inspection.