Mumbai: Juhu’s Tulip Star Durga Puja pandal, the pujo that actresses Kajol and Rani Mukherjee visit, wants to make sure that its followers are first. Extra care will be taken to make their visit to the pandal comfortable and safe.
The Tulip Star hotel Durga Puja Pandal, the pandal of the Mukherjee family from where Kajol and Rani Mukherjee hail, is one that is single-mindedly devoted to the idea of service to the devotees that visit every year.
Their comfort is most important to organisers who want to go out of their way to make sure that visitors are well taken care of and well attended to.
The pandal will come equipped with a ramp for wheelchairs, along with special bouncers who have been hired for the protection of the large crowds that visit every year, almost 5,000 a day. The Mukherjee family themselves serve devotees the Maa’s bhog.
What is special about the pandal is that it will be a completely air-conditioned one. To be held from October 4-8 at the Tulip Star pandal, special rituals will be followed, so as to ensure that the festival is celebrated correctly, along with being an occasion for pomp and showmanship.
In the 72rd year, the pandal has once again taken care to follow different customs, sacraments and ceremonies so that the goddess’ arrival on earth with her four children, receives the proper welcome it deserves.
On Shashti day, this welcome will be accentuated through the sounds of conch shells and drum beats of a company of drummers who have come to perform especially from Kolkata. The ritual is called Amontron.
On Pujo’s seventh day, saptami, an earthen pot along with green coconut and mango leaves is set down. This process is called the Kalash Sthapan.
The pot depicts Maa Durga – its clay structure her body – that which houses her soul. This is followed by a ritual where 9 plants are tied together, once again to create another symbol of the devi, in an object.
This is called the Naba Patrika ritual and ends in the formation of a Kola Bahu (“a Banana Bride”).
By Maithili Chakravarthy