While Durga Puja pandals look for unique ways to attract people, one of them has decided to offers pandal-hoppers a slice of African Safari with a selfie enclosure where one can click photographs with rare and exotic live birds.
The tamed birds, many of which are good mimic of the human voice, would be kept in a separate 200-square-foot glass enclosure in the Md Ali Park pandal which resembles an African tribal hut amidst a forest.
"We are bringing around 125-150 birds of about 40 varieties. None of them is an Indian species but imported by bird lovers from countries in Africa, South America, etc. We are hiring them from their owners for a few days during the Puja," Sanjeev Sharma of the Durga Puja committee told PTI.
Surrounded by green plants to recreate the idyllic environment of a forest, the pandal would be decked up with tribal motifs and masks.
Pramod Chandak, one of the organisers, says the chirping and fluttering wings of the avians would complete the African Safari feel for pandal hoppers.
By depicting the irresistible beauty of nature, they want to spread the message of the importance of wildlife conservation and maintaining ecological balance.
"Birds need freedom of movement and so we have not kept them in cages but in a one-side open enclosure. Since these birds are tamed so they won't fly away or harm anyone," he explains. .
The idea came from the mind of pandal decorator Bapai Sen, who is himself a bird lover and former secretary of the bird lovers' association.
Vistors would not only get the opportunity to marvel at their colourful plumes and dazzling feathers, but can also click selfies with the exotic visitors.
Another attraction would be the ability of these birds like the African Grey Parrot to mimic human voices.
"People are free to click with them and even listen to their 'Hi', 'Hello' as some of them are talking birds," Sharma says.
Bird species taking part in the festivities include red-and-green macaw, blue-and-gold macaw, cockatoo, Amazon parrot, lorikeet, conures, turaco, monk parakeet, grey parrot, eclectus parrot, Pionus and Senegal parrots.
West Bengal's biggest festival Durga Puja, which begins from October 20, is a four day m lange of festive fun and devotion which brings everything else in the entire state to a standstill.
Pandal would be decked up with tribal motifs and masks.