Bengal bids farewell to DurgaOctober 6th, 2011 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Oct 6 (IANS) Five days of frenzied puja festivities came to an end in West Bengal as idols of Goddess Durga and her children were immersed in the Ganga river and other water bodies across the state on Bijoya Dasami, marking an end to the celebrations.
A sense of sadness pervaded the atmosphere as devotees bade farewell to the goddess.
In Kolkata, the streets were choked with immersion processions. All roads led to the Ganga where millions gathered to watch the idols being immersed in the river. Bijoya Dasami marks the end of Durga Puja, the biggest festival of eastern India.
“Security arrangements were beefed up across the city and at the ghats (river banks), where immersion of idols was held. CCTV cameras were installed at the immersion sites. Policemen were deployed at every crossing to maintain law and order,” Kolkata Police Commissioner R.K. Pachnanda said.
In keeping with tradition, the idols of Goddess Durga along with those of her four children - Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartik - are immersed with much fanfare across the state.
Married women smeared the deities and each other with ’sindur’ or vermilion and offered sweets to the idols. They prayed for the well-being of their families and the long lives of their husbands.
Leading Bengali film actress Rituparna Sengupta was also seen smearing vermilion on the deity at a community puja at Robinson Street in south Kolkata.
“Every year I enjoy sindur khela on Bijoya Dasami. This year is no exception,” said 42-year-old house maker Moumita Basu.
Students of schools and colleges were seen at marquees with their books and pens in the belief that the goddess would bless them with a good academic record.
After the immersion of idols, Bengalis wish each other “Shubho Bijoya” - or Happy Bijoya Dashami - and visit each other’s place with sweets. All sweet shops in the state were crowded since morning.
However, not all idols across the state are immersed on the same day. While the traditional puja organisers conduct the immersion on Dashami, some community puja organisers keep the idols in the pandals for one or two more days.
Thousands of people thronged Babughat, a popular stretch on the banks of the Ganga, to watch the grand immersion spectacle as chants of “Bolo Bolo Durga Mai Ki Jai” (Hail, Mother Durga) rent the air. Men and women were seen dancing.
Film actress Munmun Sen was also seen enjoying the immersion ceremony at Babughat.
The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) deployed heavy-duty cranes and barges this year for the first time to clear the river quickly after the immersion of the idols.
The barges and cranes are deployed at Babughat and Judges Ghat. At these two places, around half of the idols of major Durga Puja committees are immersed.
A lot of people also gathered at Taki in North 24 Parganas district to watch the immersion ceremony on river Ichamati.
Ichamati, a trans-boundary river, flows through India and Bangladesh and also forms the boundary between the two countries.
Boats from both sides sailed on the river for the immersion of idols of goddess Durga.
Indian mythology says Durga Puja celebrates the annual descent of the goddess and her four children to her parental abode on earth. The goddess stays for four days to eradicate all evil from earth and on the fifth day of Dashami begins her return journey to her husband Lord Shiva’s abode at Mount Kailash in the Himalayas.
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- Kolkata civic body, port trust jointly cleaning up Ganga - Oct 18, 2010
- Traditional 'Sindur Khela' held to bid farewell to Goddess Durga in Tripura - Oct 17, 2010
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- Durga Puja celebrations come to an end in West Bengal - Oct 09, 2008
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Tags: academic record, bengali film, dashami, durga puja, eastern india, film actress, ganesha, ganga river, goddess durga, kartik, khela, marquees, police commissioner, rituparna sengupta, river banks, robinson street, security arrangements, sweet shops, water bodies, west bengal