Mahalaya commences countdown for Durga Puja

Kolkata, Oct 4 : The countdown for the most awaited festival of the Hindus, especially the Bengali community, commenced on Friday morning as Kolkata along with the rest of West Bengal observed the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya, which ushers in a week long celebrations of Durga Puja.

The day marks the start of Devipaksha (Fortnight of the Goddess) amid rituals by the pious Hindus in the Ganges.

The occasion is generally ushered in the wee hours of the morning by radio broadcast of late spiritual poet Birendra Krishna Bhadra 's Mahishasur Mardini recital.

In Bengal, every home perhaps made an early start on Friday with bringing out their transistors as the tradition for listening to this medium has been a part of their lives for more than half a century, where All India Radio (Akashvani) Kolkata broadcasts spiritual poet Birendra Krishna Bhadra's recitation Mahishashura Mardini (a collection of shlokas and songs dedicated to Goddess Durga) at 4 am on the day of Mahalaya.

Mahalaya generally brings along happiness and the spirit of festivity as the Bengali community along with other Hindus gears up to welcome goddess Durga along with her four children (Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh), who make their annual trip to maternal house on earth.

On the auspicious day of Mahalaya, hundreds of Hindus of Kolkata visit Babughat, on the banks of the Ganges to perform 'Tarpan' ‚Euro" the ritual of praying for their departed ancestors.

The Durga Puja organisers also gear up with their last bit of preparations on the marquee, as the time to house the idol of Goddess Durga and her four children closes in.

The day witnesses heavy rush of shoppers in all major shopping destinations in the city.

With the fervour of the festival in the air, Kolkatans start their celebrations from the very first day of Devipaksha, as restaurants marks heavy footfalls on this day.

Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival which is celebrated by the Hindus all over the world, when they worship the Hindu goddess Durga.

--IBNS (Posted on 04-10-2013)

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