A day to seek Durga’s blessings

The Durga Puja at Beltola Lakhi Mandir in Guwahati. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, Sept. 28: Intermittent drizzles failed to dim the enthusiasm of devotees as they turned up in traditional attire,placed xorais filled with sweets, fruits and flowers and lit earthen lamps before Durga idols to seek the blessings of the goddess today on Ashtami.

The devotees were seen making offerings to the goddess from early in the morning.

The general secretary of Kamarpatty Sarbajanin Puja, Birinchi Kumar Das, said: “People are thronging the pandals since early morning. We have prepared bhog for more than 10,000 people.”

Pulakesh Choudhury, a visitor to the Panbazar Sarbajanin Puja, said: “I have been out since morning with my friends and we visited several pandals. We have seen Beltola and Ganeshguri pujas. The one at BK Tower in Ganeshguri was impressive because of its fine decoration. The huge idols at Bishnupur are very impressive. It will be a matter of pride for the city if it finds a place in the Guinness World Records.”

In other places, too, the organisers have tried to build big idols. Manipuri Basti has a huge Shiva idol.

Maligaon Rest Camp has used the theme of boats.

Many of the pandals this time have tried to build upon eco-friendly concepts. Some are based on social themes such as care for the environment and cleanliness.

In the afternoon, organisers were busy preparing for sandhi puja.

A drizzle in the evening led to a slight decrease in the number of revellers. Many opted to take out their cars, leading to big traffic snarls in the vicinity of the pandals.

Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner M. Angamuthu today took stock of work on Kasomari ghat, the main immersion point for Durga idols in the city.

Around 300 idols in the Greater Guwahati area are expected to be immersed in the Brahmaputra from this ghat.

The other immersion points are in Pandu, Soonsali, Khanamukh and Basistha. Immersion will take place a day later in Pandu to avoid traffic snarls.

More than 200 idols are likely to be immersed at Pandu ghat on Sunday.

An official of the deputy commissioner’s office said: “Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), accompanied by labourers, will carry out immersions. People accompanying the idols will not be allowed to go beyond a certain point. Three routes have been chalked out at Kasomarighat to avoid overcrowding. There will be medical teams for any emergency situation. All precautions have been taken to ensure smooth work on Dashami.”

A traffic constable of Panbazar police station, Nazimuddin Ahmed, said, “Traffic has increased dramatically since Saptami yesterday. The number of cars on the road will increase as the evening wears on. From my experience in the past, traffic on the roads on Ashtami and Navami lasts till 2am. We are also concerned about accidents because of decreased visibility on account of rain. The drizzle has provided some respite from the heat but it will be better if it stops after some time as performing our duty becomes difficult.”

Ali Fauz Hassan Telegraph India

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