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The most-anticipated Durga Puja festival is approaching and preparations for the festival are already underway in the city, which is well-known to celebrate this annual festival with fervour. With the Durga Puja in Kolkata is world famous, it was also included in UNESCO’s representative list of the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ of humanity in 2021. Every year, pandals of Kolkata bring new puja themes which are unique and innovative in their own way.
Meanwhile, keeping in mind the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the famous Babubagan Sarbajanin Durgotsav Puja pandal in South Kolkata’s Dhakuria has come up with a unique pandal made up of thousands of commemorative coins issued since independence. The theme of the pandal is ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ 
The Babubagan Sarbajanin Durgotsav in Kolkata was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday. 
Celebrating 75 years of the country’s Independence, tributes have been paid to great Indian fighters of the country by using the artistic vision of Sujata Gupta in Babubagan Sarbajanin Durgotsav Puja pandal. Notably, the Babubagan Sarbajanin Durga Pooja pandal will be organizing Durgotsav for the 61st year in Kolkata. 
Through this year’s theme ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’, great personalities and freedom fighters are depicted. Upon entering the pandal, people can sense the presence of important figures from India who were directly involved in India’s independence struggle and who influenced our modern India and various Indian independence movements. 
The Babubagan Sarbajanin Durga Puja pandal will also have landmarks of various pillars of our country that have helped them stand on their feet. 
Speaking to ANI multimedia news agency, Prof and Puja Committee Treasurer said Sujata Gupta, “Maa Tujhe Salaam has been kept as this year’s theme as Maa means Durga Maa and it also means Bharat Mata. We are celebrating 75 years of India’s independence. The pandal is made of thousands of commemorative coins issued since independence. From 1947 to date, a number of commemorative coins have been released on important occasions. We have collected such coins and adorned the pandal with them. While some of the coins are original, the rest are replicas.”
Babubagan Sarbajanin Durga Pooja pandal member Sujata Gupta said, “There will be a coin museum. The idols of Durga Maa are replicated on the coins. Also, we have placed replicas of freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda and others on coins.”
Sujata Gupta further mentioned that nearly 150 coins have been used in the pandal this year. “It is my hobby to collect coins and this is my concept. My husband also used to collect coins. We had all these old coins which are not in use today. So we thought of giving a message to the next generation with this pandal and senior citizens will feel nostalgic as they are not able to see old coins. This will work as a feel-good factor,” she added. 
Further, Sujata Gupta said that it took nearly two months to complete the entire pandal. She said that round Rs 30-40 lakh has been spent to create the pandal. 
Notably, this year Durga Puja begins on October 1 with Maha Shashti and will end on October 5 with Maha Dasami.
Durga Pooja festival is majorly observed between September and October. The festival, also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava, is celebrated with great fervor and devotion. Durga Puja, an auspicious event, symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is a yearly celebration that honors the Hindu goddess Durga and commemorates her victory over Mahishasur.
Durga puja has become an inseparable part of Indian culture with innumerable people celebrating this festival in their own unique way while pertaining to tradition. Goddess Druga appeared from the fusion of all the gods’ energies in heaven to destroy Mahishasur. She had ten arms, and on each of them, she carried the most lethal weapon belonging to each God. 
During the festival, devotees can be seen dressed in new garments, chanting aartis, visiting temples, handing out sweets, cleaning their homes, and some may even fast to express gratitude to the Goddess.
 

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