Bright lights, twinklers and grand marquees welcomed devotees as pandals across the country witness a grand beginning to the five-day festivities
Thousands 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 yesterday.
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 gay abandon as Kolkata looked its finest under lakhs of kilowatts of bright lights, twinklers and grand marques.
Dhol bajne laga: Drummers use feathers to decorate their dhaaks while performing during Durga Puja in Kolkata. PIC/afp
The five-day festival -- the biggest in eastern India -- will 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.
Mythology 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.
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.
Good triumphs over Evil >> New Delhi: Colourful pandals, cultural shows and gastronomic delights with some pandals even opting for a healthy prasad cooked in olive oil -- the stage is set for festivities in the capital
>> Agartala: Over 20,000 security personnel and quick reaction teams besides bomb and dog squads have been deployed in Tripura for the Bodhan.
u Lucknow: A puja committee is coming up with the replica of poet Rabindranath Tagore ancestral Kolkata residence Jorasanko Thakur Bari situated in north Kolkata.
The pujas 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 Durga is being worshipped with all fervour