Dussehera Pandal



The central figure of this elaborate pandal constructed for the Durga Puja festival is the Goddess Durga astride a lion, brandishing weapons in each of her ten hands after having slain Mahishasura, the buffalo demon. At her sides are Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune and wealth, and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, learning and the arts. It takes many months to construct a pandal, with dozens of specialized artisans devoted to the task. The deities are molded from clay and straw and placed on huge wooden frames. The entire structure is then embellished with palm, paper and foil. The painstaking effort is short-lived: on the last day of the festival the pandal is taken to the river or sea as an offering.

Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal


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