The Times of India Lokhandwala Durgotsav 2013 begins with all glitz and glamour for its 18th edition of the puja. Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya organises the event and has turned Lokhandwala Garden in Andheri West into a focal point for Durga Puja celebrations in Mumbai. The celebrations will continue till October 13, 2013.
Maha Chaturthi Puja – 8 October 2013
Maha Panchami Puja – 9 October 2013
Shashti Durga Puja – 10 October 2013
Saptami Durga Puja – 11 October 2013
Ashtami Durga Puja – 12 October 2013
Navami Durga Puja – 13 October 2013
Vijayadashami Puja – 14 October 2013
Durga Bisarjan – 15 October 2013
Lakshmi Puja – 18 October 2013
This time , special LED lighting have been installed around the idols for the first time and the white metal and daker saaj decoration will show up well against the backdrop. Abhijeet is an alumni of Ramakrishna Mission School in Kanpur and has been a keen follower of the activities of the Math.
Abhijeet said “This year, in a gurudakshina of sorts, I have donated an ambulance with medical equipment to Ramakrishna Mission Hospital. Iam also handing over a bus to Bharat Sevashram Sangh which runs a hospital for cancer patients in navi Mumbai. They can use the vehicle to ferry passengers to Tata Memorial Hospital.”
The event also promises lots of entertainment and Classical dancer Dona Ganguly will arrive with her troupe from Kolkata while American artist George Brooks will perform fusion music with renowned percussionist and tabla player Bickram Ghosh.
The line up of playback singers include Hariharan, Usha Uthup, Sukhwinder Singh, Shaan, Alka Yagnik. Also actor Paresh Rawal will stage his play Kishan Kanhaiya at the Lokhandwala Puja. Many food courts would be set up to cater to the needs of foodies and mandal officials and volunteers would be wearing an uniform coloured kurtas for the three main days of the festival.
Lokhandwala Durga Puja became a household name in its first year itself. The Puja was started by a small number of Bengali families in and around the area of Lokhandwala, Mumbai and in its first year of inception established itself as the Best Puja in Mumbai. Under the stewardship of famous playback singer Abhijit Bhattacharya, the Puja has scaled unimaginable heights and has now become the undisputed No.1 celebration in the country.
The main motto of the Puja is to keep alive and reflect the Rich Bengali Tradition and to showcase the same to the whole world. Bangla Art and Tradition has been the pride of every Bengali and we are striving hard to maintain its necessary luster. We are the only Puja which initiates the celebrations from the fourth day of Navratri itself, with each day being celebrated with the same pomp and glory. Many creative souls are actively involved in the Puja, in an attempt to make this grand celebration par excellence.