Guwahati, Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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Thousands throng puja mandaps in State
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Oct 4 – Durga puja celebrations peaked in the State on the occasion of Maha Astami with thousands of devotees and puja enthusiasts coming out to enjoy the grand occasion.

 Maha Astami is the eighth day of the nine-day earthly sojourn of Goddess Durga and her entourage of children. With its bridal look and incredible lightings, the city reverberated with the sounds of dhaks, religious chanting and arati.

With more than 500 puja pandals in and around the city, almost every corner was illuminated with lighting in puja mandaps and the approach road to these venues. The thematic designs and dazzling lighting of the mandaps attracted the puja revellers. Some of the most visited puja mandaps were Beltola, Dispur, Tarun Nagar, Silpukhuri, Chandmari, Kumarpara, Bharalumukh, Binapani, Nayantara, Ganeshguri, etc.

Many of the puja pandals organized special light-and-sound shows on various themes including corruption, wildlife preservation, etc.

During the morning hours, the visitors thronged the puja pandals for paying obeisance to the Goddess. Durga is worshipped in the form of Maha Gouri on the occasion of Astami.

Rajdhani Puja Samity, Dispur organized its 38th Durga Puja in a traditional manner. The Maha Astami puja started from 9 am in the mandap.

A sizeable number of devotees also thronged the Kamakhya temple to worship the Goddess. Special puja was held in the temple on the occasion.

Though the mandaps were teeming with visitors since morning, the crowds swelled manifold towards the evening, with the city witnessing a sea of people on the streets.

The puja organizers conducted cultural shows and different competitions that included the bhajan, kirtan and arati competitions, and fancy dress, art competitions, etc., among the children in the evening.

The puja rush also sent the City Police’s traffic plans haywire, as jams made life difficult for the commuters in some areas during the night. Areas like Beltola, Ganeshguri, Latasil, Chandmari, Athgaon, Fatasil, Maligaon, Pandu, etc., were the worst affected due to traffic jams.

Today being a holiday in the government offices, schools and many other organizations, huge crowds was seen on the streets, restaurants, food joints, shopping malls and parks, etc.

The makeshift stalls selling toys, sweets and fast food also made brisk business. Like always, the puja favourite juicy and crispy jalebis sold like hot cakes.

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