Desk report, October 01: The five-day Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali-speaking followers of Hindu community, ended on Saturday with immersion of Devi Durga and other goddesses amid much enthusiasm and festivity.
Durga Puja began on September 26 with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga on the day of Maha Shashti at temples across the country.Maha Saptami puja was observed on Wednesday (September 27), Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja and Sandhi Puja on Thursday (September 28) and Maha Nabami Puja on Friday (September 29).
As many as 30,077 permanent and temporary pandals were erected in the country including 231 in the capital city this year, while 1,767 puja pandaps were set up in Chittagong, 1,242 in Dinajpur and 1,175 in Gopalganj.
Talking to BSS, a group of devotees of Hindu Community today said that Bangladesh is an instance of communal harmony as people of all Hindu faiths have been observing their Durga Puja with liberty for long.
They viewed that the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working relentlessly so that people of all religions can live with peace and enjoy equal rights.
A puja udjapan committee member said that thousands of devout Hindus including Jagannath Hall joined colourful marches on the city streets and elsewhere in the country as the idols of all Gods and Goddesses were being carried to Buriganga River at Wasieghat point at evening.
Mohanagar Sarbojanin Puja Udjapan Committee president D N Chattarjee and general secretary Advocate Shyamol Kumar Roy thanked to the Prime Minister, law aneforcemenr agencies and journalists for their cooperation to hold peaceful Durga Puja.
Besides, the idols of all Gods and Goddesses were being carried to nearby rivers, ponds, canals and other water bodies for immersion after Bijoya Dashami, the last and largely attended ritual to bid farewell to Devi Durga, daughter of the majestic Himalayas.
Bijoya Dashami, 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.
On the occasion of Bijoya Dashami, 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.
Saturday was a public holiday. On the day of Bijoya Dsahami, Dashami Bihit Puja was held at different puja mandaps on Saturday morning.
President Abdul Hamid hosted a reception at Bangabhaban Yesterday 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.
Plain clothe policemen 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.