Kolkata: For years now, autumn has been the toughest month for Bengalis who live in far-away lands. It’s during this period that Bengal is illuminated for its biggest festival — Durga Puja.
However, this time, there is good news for all those living abroad.
The brainchild of two professionals, Soumadityo Mukherjee and Arpan Chattyopadhyay, a web portal named www.thepujaapp.com will take its viewers on a virtual tour of the themed puja pandals in Kolkata.
The virtual tour will enable all those staying at distant shores and even those closer home to avoid the swelling crowd of pandal hoppers, but still get a feel of this year’s Durga Puja.
“This will give our viewers a multiplex-like feeling. The best thing about the app is it does not require any downloading and is compatible with both computers and smart phones,” said Soumadityo.
The portal will give a 360 degree coverage of puja pandals in HD quality using VR lenses.
“Besides those who are settled abroad, the app is also a perfect virtual platform for those who want to stay indoors, especially the elderly who have health issues. Our marketing strategy is therefore to make this portal more popular among the elders,” he added.
When asked how the concept turned into a reality, Arpan said, “A friend of ours living abroad used to tell us about how bad he felt staying away from his family and friends during the festival. This gave us the idea of developing a portal, which will give a 360 degree virtual tour of the best puja pandals across the city.”
The venture started four years ago, but it is only now that we are getting such encouraging responses, he added.
“Durga puja is one of the biggest festivals and this year, we are targeting a virtual tour of over 40 puja pandals, including the popular ones such as Sreebhumi Sporting Club, Shib Mandir, Bosepukur Sitala Mandir, Bagbazaar Sarbojanin, Tridhara Sammilani,” he said.
“We are seeking suggestions from our viewers to make this platform more attractive and user friendly,” Arpan added.