Category Archives: Traditions

Durga Puja this year with happy ending

Four days of revelry and merriment came to an end Sunday as idols of goddess Durga and her four children were immersed by teary-eyed devotees in ponds, lakes and rivers across West Bengal on Bijoya Dashami.

The banks of the Ganga and other rivers wore a festive look, as puja organisers came in colourful processions to the accompaniment of drums to immerse idols of the goddess and her four children — Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik.

Hundreds of devotees, including the young, joined hands to gently lower the idols into the river. An element of emptiness at the end of the biggest celebration in this part of the country overcame all and sundry, but they consoled themselves shouting “Asche bochor abar hobe” (See you next year).

Central Kolkata’s Babughat, a popular stretch on the Ganga, was the centre of attraction as it drew a large number of people, even from abroad, who soaked in the festive spirit.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s truly beautiful and splendid. When I go home and show these photos to my folks they will envy me so much,” said a William Browne, busy capturing every moment of the immersion ceremonies on his sophisticated single-lens reflex (SLR) camera.

The immersion ceremony symbolises the end of the goddess’ annual sojourn to her paternal home and she returns to her husband Lord Shiva at their heavenly abode in Mount Kailash.

Tight security arrangements were made at the river banks and launches were kept ready to rescue people in case of emergencies, the police said.

“No untoward incidents have been reported. There is adequate police deployment in the seven ghats on the banks of the Ganga. Things are going on smoothly,” said an officer manning the city police control room.

CCTV cameras have been installed at the immersion sites, while the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has deployed 300 personnel on the seven ghats to ensure that the river is not polluted by dropping pith and flowers.

“We have earmarked spots at the river bank where these substances have to be thrown,” said a KMC mayor-in-council member (Parks and Squares) Debasish Kumar.

In the morning, married women smeared the goddess and her children with red vermilion and offered sweets and prayed for the well-being of their families and long lives of their husbands.

School students visited the marquees and kept their books and pens before the goddess seeking her blessings for a good academic record. As evening descended, large parts of the city got clogged as idols of big ticket community pujas were taken for immersion in big and colourful processions accompanied by a large number of devotees. Late in the afternoon, however, most of the idols in residential apartments or houses of one-time zamindars (big landowners) were immersed after being carried on hand as per tradition.

Members of some of these families also carried a symbolic clay of Neel Kontho Pakhi – a bird with a blue neck – with them. It is the carryover of a practice in the times of the zamindars who used to set free these birds before immersion.

There were long queues before sweet shops as people started visiting relatives and friends to hug and wish each other “Shubho Bijoya” – Happy bijoya Dashami.

Idols immersed on Dashami as Durga Puja ends

Kolkata, Oct 17 (IANS) Ending four days of revelry and celebration, idols of goddess Durga and her children were immersed by teary-eyed devotees in ponds, lakes and rivers across West Bengal on Vijaya Dashami Sunday.

Banks of the Ganga and other rivers wore a festive look, as puja organisers came in colourful processions to the accompaniment of drums to immerse idols of the goddess and her four children — Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartik.

Hundreds of devotees, including the young, joined hands to gently lower the idols into the river. An element of emptiness at the end of the biggest celebration in this part of the country overcame all and sundry, but they consoled themselves shouting “Asche bochor abar hobe” (See you next year).

The immersion ceremony symbolises the end of the goddess’ annual sojourn to her paternal home and she returns to her husband Lord Shiva at their heavenly abode in Mount Kailash.

Tight security arrangements were made at the river banks and launches were kept ready to rescue people in case of emergencies, the police said.

In the morning, married women smeared the goddess and her children with red vermilion and offered sweets and prayed for the well-being of their families and long lives of their husbands.

There were long queues before sweet shops as people started visiting relatives and friends to hug and wish each other “Shubho Bijoya” – Happy Bijoya Dashami. (IANS)

Kolkata will enjoy lead-free Durga puja this year

Kolkata and some other places of West Bengal will enjoy lead-free Durga Puja in 2010 as the Puja committee representatives promised that they will use lead-free paints and other eco-friendly material for Durga Puja. On 14th August 2010, the Durga Puja committee representatives of Kolkata and surrounding areas had a meeting and decided to use the above said material to protect the environment from puja-mark pollution.

The Puja committee representatives will also meet municipality chair persons of South Bengal on August 26th to discuss the issue further. In 2010, the number of Durga idols will increase substantially and all of them may lead-free and eco-friendly. It is to note that Durga Puja 2010 in Bengal starts on 13th October and ends on 17th October 2010.