Patna: Want to take an inexpensive trip around the world! Just land in Patna and leave the rest to over 1,200 Durga Puja 'pandals' with dazzling decorations put up across the length and breadth of the city.
They will fulfil your wishes of visiting the White House just like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, or seeing the fabulous Royal Palace of Madrid, Spain.
One could go to pandals designed as Buddhist pagodas or famous temples scattered across India.
Already these have opened their gates for the devotees and visitors from different parts of Bihar, who hare making a beeline to the pandals after they threw open the gates for the 'darshan' or worship of Goddess Durga on the occasion of 'Saptmi' (Seventh day) of 'Navaratra'.
It is too early to say which is attracting more crowd - the splendid 70-feet-high White House erected in Khajpura locality or the 85-feet-high Madrid Royal Palace a little farther at Rukanpura in western part of the city, but the visitors are loving it.
Both the pandals have been designed by artists hired from West Bengal. The decorations were also brought from Kolkata.
"These pandals are like exact replicas of the famous monuments. I don't know when I will visit US or Spain, but these have certainly succeeded in quenching my curiosity to some extent. They have made Durga Puja special this time," said Anamika Singh, a student and a self-proclaimed 'pandal hopper'.
Coming back to the local ones, Dak Bungalow Chowraha, right in the heart of the city is hosting 90 feet tall pandal depicting the 12th century Mahadev Temple at Itagi in Karnataka. The venue and the road leading to it is awash with glittering LED lights.
President of the Durga Puja Samiti at Dak Bungalow Chowraha, Sanjiv Prasad Toni said 11,000 pieces of semi-precious stones, mosaics, glass decorations and designs made of 'Shankha pola' (conch shell material) have been brought from Bangladesh to adorn the pandal.
The architecture of Bodh Gaya's Thai Temple is reflected at the Durga pandal made at the busy Boring Road crossing. Apart from the Goddess, it is especially showing Ganesha and Kartikeya battling various demons. The roadside decorations are depicting mythological scenes.
Apart from the above ones there are pandals designed on Kolkata's Victoria Memorial and Dakshineshwar Temple, Patna's own Takht Sri Harimandir Sahib, Jodhpur's Jaswant Thada Temple, Mumbai's Taj Hotel, Gujarat's Somnath Temple and several others.
You will be spoilt for choice in the state capital of Bihar, and you can definitely take a global tour this Durga Puja till you drop.