Dhaka, 15 October, Abnews: Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community, began today with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga on the day of Maha Shashti at temples across the country.
Shashti is the sixth day of Devi Pakhsha and marked the formal beginning of Durga Puja.
Marking Shashti, Kalparambho was performed at 6.30 in the morning while Bodhan, (the incarnation of Ma Durga idol), Amantran (inviting the Goddess) and Adhiva (sanctifying the stay of the Goddess in the puja area of the pandals) were performed in the late afternoon.
Recitation of verses from the Holy Chandi, blowing of conch shells and beating of dhak-dhols at temples and pandals started this morning which will continue for the five days.
Maha Saptami puja will be performed tomorrow, Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja and Sandhi Puja on Wednesday, Maha Nabami Puja on Thursday and Bijoya Dashami on Friday.
The five-day festival will come to an end with the immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga on the day of Bijoya Dashami in the nearby rivers and water bodies across the country on October 19.
President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conveyed greetings to the members of the Hindu community in separate messages on the occasion of the festival.
A mood of festivities is being witnessed among the devotees irrespective of ages marking the festival while adequate security measures have already been taken in the puja pandals across the country.
Draped in new dresses, a large numbers of devotees of all ages have already started thronging the city puja pandals, particularly at Dhakeshwari National Temple, and offering prayers before the Goddess Durga seeking peace, prosperity and welfare of the country and its people.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad General Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee said as many as 31,272 permanent and temporary mandaps were erected in the country, including 234 in the capital city this year.
In Dhaka city, the largest number of crowd of devotees is expected to be seen in the five-day festival at Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramkrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Banani, Shakhari Bazar and Dhaka University Jagannath Hall puja mandaps.
Security has been beefed up in all Puja pandals throughout the country, including the capital, with the deployment of additional squads of Ansars, police, RAB and other law enforcers for peaceful celebration of the festival.
Besides, voluntary groups will also perform duties at the puja pandals.
All Puja committees have installed close circuit cameras and metal detectors at their mandaps.
Apart from offering prayers before the Goddess, Dhakeshwari National Temple at Lalbagh has chalked out other programmes for the five-day festival including rendition of devotional songs, distribution of clothes among the poor, distribution of Mohaprosad, Arati competition, voluntary blood donation and bringing out a Bijoya Dashami procession in the city from the temple
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee this year decided that the immersion of idols of Durga Puja would be done by 10 pm on the day of Bijoya Dashami across the country.
The organisations also urged organizers of Durga Puja across the country to keep the processions of Bijoya Dashami off from 12 noon to 2pm on the day coinciding with the Juma prayers. - BSS