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Shila Devi Temple to Wow Pandal Hoppers at Singhi Park

shila_devi_1Like every year Singhi Park (Kolkata, West Bengal) will give you a glimpse of our incredible India through its Durgotsav this year. While staying put to the West of India, the Singhi Park Sarbojonin Durga Puja Committee after bringing the grandiose of Somnath temple last year will now wow the Kolkatans with the Shila Devi’s temple from Rajasthan.

Towards the end of sixteenth century, Maharaja Man Singh brought the statue of the goddess Shila Mata from Jessore, now in Bangladesh. Maharaja Man Singh was defeated at the hands of King Kedar of Pratapaditya kingdom. Humiliated and depressed, the Maharaja worshipped goddess Kali to please her and receive her blessings so as to change his defeat into victory. As folklore goes Maa Kali appeared in a dream to bless him. The goddess also obtained a promise from the Maharaja that he would establish her shrine in his capital. The idol of goddess was recovered from sea in the form of a Shila (Slab) and it was brought to Amber Fort when cleaned and washed, the present idol appeared. This is why the goddess is named as Shila Devi.

The temple belongs to the Shakti cult where Ma Durga is worshipped in her kali avatar. Made out of lime mortor, stone and marble immaculate workmanship has gone into creating the grand temple. Elegantly carved pillars, walls, panels depict an exquisite floral pattern and life-like impression of craved wood bewitches the beholders.

From folklore it is believed, this idol was carved from the same stone as the Dashabhuja idol (Durga) of the Susanga Royal Family of Durgapur (now in Bangladesh). The Dashabhuja idol was stolen from Susanga and lost.

“We are striving to achieve a confluence of grandeur, divinity and the wow-factor this time and we are very confident of achieving the same. Like previous years, we shall once again stand apart from the rat-race of theme pujas.” remarked Bhaskar Nandi, Jt. Secretary of Singhi Park Durga Puja Committee.

“Not only is the recreation of the Shila Devi temple going to be something novel and pleasurable for the eye, it is going to add another aspect to the multi-cultural facet of Kolkata and Durga Puja. We are also very proud to bring the rugged beauty of Rajasthan this year,” Durga Prasad Mukherjee Chairman of the puja committee concluded.

The pandal made out of pith, colourful foam and silver sand is spread over 3000 sq ft and has a height of 45 feet. The Goddess will be 23 feet in height and made of clay which includes the saree and ornaments in keeping with the style and décor of the pandal. The idol is being created by Pradip Rudra Pal.

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