Durga Puja ends with immersion of idols

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Dhaka, October 08: The five-day Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali-speaking followers of Hindu faith, ended on Tuesday with immersion of Devi Durga and other goddesses amid much enthusiasm and festivity.Thousands of devout Hindus joined colourful marches on the city streets and elsewhere in the country as the idols of all Gods and Goddesses were being carried to nearby rivers, ponds, canals and other water bodies for immersion after Bijoyadashami, the last and largely attended ritual to bid farewell to Devi Durga, daughter of the majestic Himalayas.

Bijoyadashami, marking the Victory of Good over Evil and God over Devil according to the Hindu faith, is celebrated on the 10th day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the early autumn month of Ashwin and is the grand culmination of the 10-day annual Navaratri or “nine nights” festival.

Before removing the idols of Durga and other Gods and Goddesses from the altar of all mandaps (makeshift worship pavilions) for immersion, the Hindu devotees danced and sang `kirton’ expressing their deep emotional pathos as “Durga Maa” was leaving all of her sons and daughters for full one year.

About 29,395 puja mandaps were set up in the country, including 229 in Dhaka city, the Central Puja Udjapon Parishad sources said.

The main ritual of the five-day celebration included formal opening of the puja called as “Shashti Puja”, Arati everyday, Kumari Puja, Sandhya Puja, offering Anjali, distribution of Mahaprasad and Bijoya Dashami on the last day of the festival.

On the occasion of Bijoyadashami, the main traditional puja procession arranged by Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Committee with the image of Durga started from Dhakeshwari Temple here at 4 pm and ended at Sadarghat on the bank of the river Buriganga after parading different city streets.

Today (Tuesday) was a public holiday. On the day of Bijoyadsahami, Dashami Bihit Puja was held at different puja mandaps in the morning.

President Abdul Hamid hosted a reception at Bangabhaban today for the members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Durga Puja.

Different socio-cultural organisations of the community as well as Mandir managements arranged blood donation programme and distributed clothes among the poor on the occasion.

The government enforced the tightest possible security around the Puja mandaps or makeshift venues decorated with flowers and multi-coloured lights for smooth celebration of the Hindu community’s greatest religious festival.

Plainclothesmen were on the vigil alongside thousands of policemen to prevent any possible act of sabotage during the festival.

Reports coming from Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, and Rangpur divisional cities as well as other district towns said that the Hindus immersed their Gods and Goddesses including Devi Durga quite peacefully and ceremonially after the end of the five-day grand celebration.

Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels as well as radio stations aired special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.