Bondel Road is situated in the southern end of Kolkata. Opposite the medical factory here is the Christian Para, a locality well-known in Ballygunge area for a grand Kalipuja. This is in fact Shyama Puja – a form of Kalipuja wherein the image is darkish blue. This is the 67th year of the puja. This was originally started at the ground where the medical factory stands now. Since around fifty years this puja is being held at Christian Para.
This is a prime example of a celebration in a true secular spirit.
On the silver jubilee year it was a special celebration under the joint captaincy of two senior Christian and Hindu friends – Mr. R Solomon and Mr. T Sen. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by priests from Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Christian community.
The puja arena or the pandal making starts about two weeks in advance. Pandal is traditionally built with bamboo, wooden logs and coloured cloths. Heaps of ropes are used to tie the bamboo poles.
First the tall wooden poles are fixed into the hand- made holes, done with great skill on the hard metalled road. Then wooden pieces are nailed on the bamboo- made structure. Then comes the pinning of the cloths with small
nails which requires real artistic skill. Local boys join hands in making art pieces which are then fixed on the pandal structure.
This year hats/caps made of palm-leaf and bamboo-strips were used as art pieces, and once completed it was indeed looking beautiful. The image this year is decorated in green coloured decorative items which was wonderful. A good number of people visit the pandal every year.
Come, join .. from Ballygunge Phari it is a short walk.