Kendrapara, October 26 (Local Wire) The week long Gajalaxmi Puja gripped the people of Kendrapara town from Wednesday on the puja day which saw the celebrations rise to a crescendo evening, drawing people to the puja mandaps in their hundreds.
The dazzling illuminations and stunning decorations symbolized best the festive spirit.
Around 61 puja committee members designed, decorated and illuminated the idols of Ma Gajalaxmi and other images at the Puja mandaps.
All the puja venues witnessed large participation of the devotees in the morning hours on Wednesday, as the people assembled to pay obeisance to the Goddess of Wealth.
Costs of organizing Gajalaxmi puja have gone up this year as more has to be shelled out on the main raw materials to build Puja pandals with some Pandal lighting decorators are charging 5-10 lakh rupees to decorate the Pandals with good light, said Bikram Das, a puja committee member in Kendrapara.
While people observe Durga Puja with pomp and gaiety in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and other cities and town in the state, but in Kendrapada people celebrate Gajalaxmi puja with fervour.
Gajalaxmi Puja in Kendrapada town the state’s oldest municipality had been started first time by the then landlord of Kendrapada Radhashyam Narendra Srichandan in his two-storied building at a New bus stand in 1928.
The Gajalaxmi puja by the family members of the landlord Narendra is now over 90 years old, said Sambit Srichandan (37) the great -great – grandson of Zamindar Radhashyam Narendra Srichandan.
Later in 1932, some rich men started Gajalaxmi Puja in eight places at Balagandi, Santasahi, Ichapur, Nasidapur, Gopa and other places within Kendrapada town.
The number of Gajalaxmi has also swelled in Kendrapada town and its nearby areas within six decades.
Now around 61 puja committee members designed, decorated and illuminated the idols of Ma Gajalaxmi and other images at the Puja mandaps, Srichandan added.
The week-long festival will conclude on October 31 through the immersion of the idols after celebrating the Gajalaxmi puja.
An initiative has also been taken to provide uninterrupted power supply to the puja mandaps at nights to enable the devotees to visit the mandapas.
Security has been tightened in Kendrapara during the week-long Gajalaxmi Puja.
Twenty platoons of police have been deployed to check any untoward incident during the puja, said Rajiv Lochan Panda, the Sub- Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Kendrapara.