Kolkata, July 12 (UNI) With barely sixty eight days to go for the most awaited carnival of the Bengali community – the ‘Durga Puja’ – clubs and barowari puja committees have started khunti pujas, a customary ritual before putting up pandals, to mark the countdown of the festival season.
Various big clubs conducting pujas start with the Khunti puja or worship of the first bamboo on which the foundation of the pandals will be based and the goddess and her progeny will be kept and worshipped for five days.
The ritual Khunti puja is performed on the auspicious day of Rath Yatra. In the family organised pujas, the day marks the beginning of making of the kathamo or the wooden frame on which the clay idol will be built. From the heavyweight Nakatala Udayan Sangh, Chetla Agrani Club, Hindustan Club, Sribhumi Sporting Club, Santosh Mitra Square, Mohammad Ali Park, Mudiali Club, Bakulbagan Public Durgotsab Committee and Behala Young Men’s Association organised ‘Khuti puja’ recently, heralding the construction of pandals.
Durga Puja of Sribhumi Sporting Club, popularly known as Fire Minister Sujit Basu’s Puja, turned 50 this year. Trinamool MP and actor Dev was present at the khuntipujo. According to the organizers, this time the pavilion will be built in the style of Vatican City.
Puja of Santoshmitra Square has entered its 87th year. On rath yatra day also poles are worshiped here. This time the theme of this year will be the celebration of 75 years of independence.
Durga Puja of Naktala Udayan Sangh, known as the Puja of Minister Partha Chatterjee, is now 36 years old. Khuntipuja is the custom of the day of the rath yatra .”Khuti puja has become the norm of sarbojonin pujas in Kolkata and elsewhere in the state,” a member of the Sribhumi Sporting Club Puja Committee said.