With permission being accorded to celebrate Durga Puja sans COVID-19 restrictions after a gap of two years, organisers in Ranchi have based their pandals and idols on myriad themes ranging from a nuclear explosion to Chhau dance and religious structures.
Artists, mostly from neighbouring West Bengal, were seen giving finishing touches to the idols as the marquees will be opened for the revellers on Saturday.
Pandals have also been based on Jharkhand's culture and tradition and religious structures.
The Ranchi Railway Station Durga Puja Committee has depicted a mushroom cloud to spread the message of environmental damage caused by nuclear tests.
Eco-friendly materials have been used in the pandal and a rainbow-shaped design has been erected in the front of the marquee to exhibit the colour of nature. Munchun Rai, the committee's president, said, "Our pandal theme this year is environmental conservation. We have depicted a mushroom cloud to show that nature must be protected from nuclear threat. We have spent around Rs 40 lakh to give shape to the concept."
Bakri Bazaar, known for its grand puja pandals, has this year constructed a replica of an under-construction ISKCON temple in West Bengal's Mayapur. The height of the marquee is around 90 feet.
Ashok Choudhary, president of the Bakri Bazaar puja's organising committee, Bharatiya Yuvak Sangh, said, "Artists were brought from West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district and they built the pandal after two months of hard labour." He expects the pandal to be a crowd-puller.
Satya Amarlok Puja committee has showcased Jharkhand's art and culture in its pandal at Marwari Bhavan on Harmu Road.
At the entrance, Chhau dance of Seraikela-Kharsawan was depicted, while wooden mannequins with traditional instruments such as 'dhol' and 'nagada' were seen welcoming visitors.
The committee's spokesperson Suresh Agarwal said the theme promotes Jharkhand's art and culture and Rs 13 lakh has been spent on the pandal.
Netaji Nagar Durga Puja Samiti at Kantatoli gave a message on road safety by showing in its pandal two helmet-clad elephants riding motorcycles.
The interior of the marquee shows a person trying to kill an animal while another trying to protect it.
"Our theme is based on protecting life. We have used eco-friendly materials in the idols and other items," the committee's secretary Rahul Kumar said.
A replica of Africa's fishing festival has come up near Albert Ekka Chowk at an estimated cost of Rs 20 lakh.
Ramesh Singh, the president of Chandrasekhar Azad Durga Puja Samiti organising the puja, said eco-friendly items have been used in erecting the marquee and the committee has prohibited the use of plastic on the premises.
Meanwhile, the Ranchi district administration has geared up to ensure safety, security, smooth road traffic and uninterrupted power supply during the five-day festivities, officials said.
Around 2,000 additional security personnel have been deployed and 1,000 CCTV cameras installed at strategic locations. Also, sniffer dogs and deep search metal detectors have been put to use. Besides, drone cameras will be deployed at prominent pandals, a senior police officer said.
The city has been divided into 10 security zones and vigil has been upped, he said.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren, during a recent meeting, had asked puja committees to follow instructions issued by the administration. He had also directed the Ranchi administration to ensure security, power supply and cleanliness in the city during the festivities.
He called upon everyone to be cautious about COVID-19 despite a reduction in cases, and urged people to celebrate the festival by maintaining peace and harmony.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)