Although the standard pomp and grandeur remained lacking on the pandals for the second yr in a row, conventional rituals have been noticed diligently on the group puja mandaps. All puja organisers are following strict guidelines to keep away from any form of public gathering on the mandaps. Whereas night time curfew from 8pm continues to be on within the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, the state additionally banned immersion procession this yr.
“This yr’s puja isn’t any completely different from that of final yr’s amid the pandemic. We anticipated that issues will probably be regular this yr and we might go to the pandals and provide puja. However the worry of the pandemic’s third wave continues to be looming giant. It is vitally vital that all of us observe Covid-appropriate behaviours and maintain kids and the aged,” mentioned Surabhi Panda, a homemaker.
Recognized for his or her grand celebrations, all main puja mandaps right here, together with Nayapalli, Jharapada Saheed Nagar, Previous Station Bazar, Rasulgarh, Bomikhal, Laxmi Sagar, Baramunda and District Centre, referred to as off preparations for theme-based mandaps, pushpanjali and distribution of bhog/prasad this yr in an effort to forestall the virus’ unfold.
“We have now decreased the celebrations and doing it on a small scale, as per the rules issued by the Odisha authorities. The idol measurement has been restricted to 4 ft in opposition to the pre-Covid days when it went as much as 14-15 ft. There’s a small pandal with none theme and main ornament. No devotees are allowed to the mandaps,” mentioned Naba Kishore Behera, advisor of the Nayapalli Durga Puja Committee.
Many of the Durga Puja committees are telecasting the rituals on social media platforms and sending prasad packets to devotees’ properties in an effort to keep away from gathering.
Nevertheless, at some pandals, folks have been seen queuing as much as get a glimpse of the goddess. “The competition occurs as soon as in a yr, and we simply wish to get a glimpse of the idols from a distance with out making any gathering,” mentioned Pratima Senapati, a customer.