The five-day Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali-speaking followers of Hindu faith, ended today with immersion of Devi Durga and other goddesses amid much enthusiasm as well as festivity.
Thousands of devout Hindus joined colourful marches on the
city streets and elsewhere in the country as the idols of all
gods and goddesses were being carried to nearby rivers, ponds,
canals and other waterbodies for immersion after Bijoyadashami,
the last and largely attended ritual to bid farewell to Devi
Durga, daughter of the majestic Himalayas.
Bijoyadashami, marking the Victory of Good over Evil, 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 altars of all mandaps or makeshift 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.
Around 27,000 puja mandaps were set up in the country
including 192 in Dhaka city this year while the total number of
mandaps was 24,000 last year, the Central Puja Udjapon Parishad
The main ritual of the five-day celebration included formal
opening of the puja called as `Shashti Puja’, Arati everyday,
Kumari Puja, Sandhya Puja, offering Anjali, distribution of
Mahaprasad and Bijoya Dashami on the last day of the festival.
On the occasion of Bijoyadashami, the main traditional puja
procession arranged by Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Committee with
the image of Durga started from Dhakeshwari Temple here at 4.30
pm and ended at Waizeghat on the bank of the river Buriganga at
6.30 pm after parading different city streets.
Hundreds of Hindu devotees, including women and children, on
trucks and on foot joined the colourful procession led by the
leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad and Mohanagar
Sarbojanin Puja Committee including Maj Gen (retd) CR Dutta Bir
Uttam, Advocate Subrata Chowdhury, Dipu Sen, Mangal Chandra Ghosh
and Babul Debnath.
Today was a public holiday. On the day of Bijoyadsahami,
Dashami Bihit Puja was held at different puja mandaps by 9:57 in
President Zillur Rahman hosted a reception at Bangabhaban
this morning for the members of the Hindu community on the
occasion of Durga Puja.
Different sociocultural organizations of the Hindu community
as well as Mandir managements arranged blood donation programme
and distributed clothes among the poor on the occasion.
Adviser to the Prime Minister Professor Dr Modasser Ali
opened a daylong blood donation programme at the Dhakeshwari
National Temple today.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar and
Awami League Advisory Council Member Suranjit Sengupta, MP, were
also present on the occasion.
Earlier, the government enforced the tightest possible
security around the 27,000 Puja mandaps or makeshift venues
decorated with flowers and multi- coloured lights for smooth
celebration of the Hindu community’s greatest religious festival.
Officials said RAB and plainclothesmen were asked to
intensify the vigil alongside thousands of policemen to prevent
any possible act of sabotage ahead of the Bijoya.
Earlier, they said nearly 33,000 police and RAB men were
particularly deployed to ensure security of the festival
celebrations in Dhaka city.
Besides, they said, some 200,000 personnel of the law-
enforcement agencies were engaged across the country side by side
with putting on duty plainclothesman at every important marquee
or makeshift mandap everywhere.
Leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mohanagar
Sarbojanin Puja Committee expressed their satisfaction over the
smooth ending of the festival.
They also thanked the people of all other faiths including
the Muslims as well as politicians and leaders of different
professional groups for visiting the mandaps and sincerely
encouraging the Hindu community to perform Durga Puja.
The Hindu community leaders expressed their heartfelt
gratitude to the government and thanked the political leaders who
encouraged them by visiting their mandaps and sharing joy with
the Hindus on the occasion of Durga Puja.
“We particularly thank the police and the Rapid Action
Battalion (RAB) for their round-the-clock vigil in safeguarding
our worship pavilions throughout the country,” vice president of
the parishad Dipu Sen told BSS.
Reports reaching 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.
President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
earlier greeted the followers of Hindu faith on the occasion of
Durga Puja. Leader of the Opposition and BNP chairperson Begum
Khaleda Zia also congratulated the Hindu community on the
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV
channels as well as radio stations aired special programmes
highlighting the significance of the day.
Durga Puja is celebrated with due religious fervour by the
Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh, India and the world’s only Hindu
state of Nepal as well as many places of the world. In Nepal,
Sharadiya Durga Puja is called Dasain.