Thousands hit the roads as Durga Puja begins in BengalOctober 2nd, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Oct 2 (IANS) Thousands of people decked in their best walked the streets of Kolkata shoulder to shoulder, visiting one marquee after another, as the Durga Puja festivities got off to a grand start under clear skies in West Bengal Sunday.
Leaving behind the drudgery of daily existence amid problems of price spirals, corruption in public life and other problems, young and the old joined in the gay abandon as Kolkata looked its finest under lakhs of kilowats of bright lights, twinklers and grand marques.
The five-day festival - the biggest in eastern India - would continue till Thursday, when the idols of goddess Durga and her sons and daughters will be immersed in the rivers, lakes and ponds across the state.
Shashthi - the sixth day of the lunar calendar - also marked the beginning of the puja rituals.
Kalparamvo (the beginning of the Pujas), Bodhan (the consecration of Durga’s idol), Amantran (inviting the goddess) and Adhivas (sanctifying the stay of the goddess in the exact spot where the puja is being held) - were performed in community puja marquees and households where Mother Durga is being worshipped with all fervour.
As per the Ramayana, before attacking Lanka in search of his wife Sita, Lord Rama had performed Durga Puja in autumn - a time when the gods sleep, according to the Hindu religious texts. So Lord Rama had to first wake up the Goddess prematurely, and as such the awakening in the autumnal festival is called Akal (untimely) Bodhan of the goddess.
However, mythology also states that the Puja celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga, the slayer of the demon Mahishashur, accompanied by her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati on earth to visit her parents.
The goddess, astride a lion and wielding an array of weapons in her ten hands, stays for four days to eradicate all evil from the earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva at Kailash on Dashami.
With theme puja being the in-thing and the biggest crowd puller for the last few years, all things from pencils to flutes are being used for making the marquees and also the idols. The marquee at CK-CL block of the satellite township of Salt Lake has been made totally of steel netting giving it a futuristic look not seen before. The pandal is built over 3,000 sq feet area and has 5,000 kgs of steel netting on it.
“The construction has being done on a superstructure of bamboo and timber. This is a big challenge as no one has done this before. But we want to create an example that artisans of Bengal can do the impossible,” said the creator Jagadish Das, who is based out of East Midnapore district’s Contai.
A large number of people also thronged the marquee at South Kolkata’s Singhi Park, which resembles the famous Kali temple of Dakhineswar.
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Tags: dashami, durga puja, eastern india, exact spot, goddess durga, kailash, lakes and ponds, lakhs, lord rama, lord shiva, mother durga, pujas, ramayana, religious texts, saraswati, sixth day, ten hands, twinklers, west bengal, wife sita