The famous Shikdarbari Puja Mondop of Hakimpur is all set to welcome goddess Durga with an installation of 451 idols of gods and goddesses of the Hindu community.
Many of the idols unfold a lot of mythic narratives, including creation of goddess Durga, about the Dasmahavidyas, Dakkha Yajna, Yam Badha by lord Shiva, Sati’s Deha Tyag and lord Krishna’s river cruise, while many reveal the arrival of gods and goddesses of Satya, Treta, Dwapar, and Kali Yug according to Hindu mythology.
Last year, 401 idols were installed in the Puja Mondop in Hakimpur, and the pantheon this year will be the largest across Asia, claimed the organisers.
The air of Hakimpur is abuzz with the crowd as people from distant localities have been visiting the Mondop to see and pay tributes to gods and goddesses.
Dulal Shikdar, a village doctor of the area, initiated the exquisite celebration five years ago. “I’ve taken the initiative to elaborate the mythic stories. The idols are organised in a way that all types of people come to know about Hindu religion,” he said.
Kartik Chandra Shwarma, the chief artisan of the idols, said he along with 15 other artisans have created the 451 idols over the last five months.
Puja Udjapan Parishad president of the district Amit Ray said Shikdarbari Puja Mondop is the biggest in Asia in terms idols’ number.
Among other big Mondops, Karapara Puja Mondop and Polaghat Puja Mondop in Sadar upazila have installed 251 and 131 idols respectively. Betaga Puja Mondop and Chulkathi Bonik Para Puja Mondop in Fakirhat upazila have installed more that 100 idols each.
Besides the Durga idol at the main Puja Mondop, the organisers have set other idols according to the pantheons of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Police super of the district Md Nizamul Haque Molla said 584 Mondops have been set up across the district for Durga Puja this year.
Security measures have been beefed up and law enforcement agencies are working to make sure all the people of the Hindu community can celebrate the puja with enthusiasm.