Kolkata has never shied away from going all out during Durga Puja with over two thousand pandals mushrooming in the city that sits beautifully illuminated throughout the six-day celebrations. All the auspicious days of Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Vijayadashami are celebrated like a mad carnival and it's no wonder Durga Puja is known as the Rio Carnival of the Eastern Hemisphere.
This year, however, the Sree Bhumi Sporting Club's Pandal has made itself a cannot-miss destination for all the pandal-hopping citizens of Kolkata. At this Pandal, goddess Durga does not just please her devotees with her pristine smile and elegant clothes, she is decorated with real diamonds; and her devotees are dazzled.
The security around the Sree bhumi Sporting Club panadal is very tight, with around a dozen private security guards and five armed policemen protecting the diamonds jewellery worth ₹10 crore created by leading city-based jewellery makers Nemichand Bamalwa and Sons.
Sujit Bose, Trinamool legislator and the organiser of this extravagant puja explains to NDTV: "The Mother's necklace is diamond, her tiara, her earrings and her nose ring. The valuation has been done by the suppliers. They say it is all about ₹10 crore".
Bose had dressed goddess Durga in gold last year and when a jeweller suggested diamonds this time round, he could not resist.
One of the pandal hoppers, Shreya, said, "I came here to see the diamonds. The face of the goddess has a very nice traditional look and with it, the diamonds are just too much. I wanted to see that".
In recent years, there has been a visible corporatisation of Durga puja in Kolkata, with jewellery brands decking up idols in various pandals across the city.
According to Business Standard, the ornaments for the Durga idol at Ekdalia Evergreen Club pandal were specially crafted by Tanishq, in accordance with the typical Bengali fervour of celebrations reflected in the tagline, 'Gouri Ebar Kundaner Saaje' (Gouri in Kundan) and promotes women empowerment.
These exquisitely decorated Durga idols will be immersed in water on 3 October (Vijayadashami), minus the diamonds and other expensive jewellery, marking the end of Durga Puja.
Watch the decorations at the Ultadanga Sangrami BRS-3 Pandal for Durga Puja 2014: