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Bijoya Dashami marks end of Puja celebrations
CorrespondentS

Women smearing vermillion on each other on the occasion of Bijoya Dashami at Nagaon on Tuesday. – UB Photos
 MANGALDAI, Oct 11 - After three days of unbridled pomp and gaiety, devotees across Darrang district bid adieu to Goddess Durga today amid fervent beating of drums and shouting of slogans like Durga maa ki joy. The idol immersion process began at noon and reportedly continued till filing of this report in the evening at four separate immersion sites, namely, Mangaldai river, Tongani river at Dhula, river Bornodi at Dumunichuki and river Nonai at Dolongghat respectively as officially notified immersion river banks.

It is to be mentioned here that the Durga Puja celebrations began on Friday in Darrang with a five-day-long programme along with rest of the State. This time the district witnessed more than 170 puja mandaps. According to the administrative branch of the Deputy Commissioner’s office, district head quarter Mangaldai recorded the maximum 60 puja pandals followed by 50 in Kharupetia, 32 in Sipajhar, 19 in Dalgaon and 10 in Dhula. However, the figure may increase as many puja committees function without obtaining necessary permission from the administration, the source added.

The list includes more than 400 year-old historical puja of the royal Koch dynasty at Gakhirkhowa Raja Howly near here. “Like the previous years, this year too, the puja was celebrated here by following royal and religious traditions,” said Ratna Narayan Deb, one of the senior members of the royal dynasty and president of the Puja committee. In this royal Puja, the goddess is worshipped in her ‘Ranachandi’ form with her face filled with red colour.

Meanwhile, Awlachouka Sarvajanin Durga Puja committee this time celebrated its golden jubilee year at the Awlachouka United Club premises with variety of programmes. “This Durga Puja has special significance as all the communities from adjoining villages including religious minority-dominated villages like Boinaoja and Kaliapara participate. Moreover, we choose the artistic talent of a local young group called ‘Orchid’ for the overall decoration with a low budget,” said Loken Sarma, president of the Puja committee. The massive cultural rally showcasing different ethnic cultures taken out on the occasion rightly reflected its age-old bonding of religious communities.

Meanwhile, Chapai Durga Puja committee celebrated its silver jubilee year this time. Among the various innovative arrangements made in the Puja mandaps of Mangaldai, the memorial raised in the Tengabari Puja mandap organised by Maa Laksmi Society to pay respect to the 18 Army jawans, who sacrificed their lives at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir recently, drew massive crowd. Sunil Kumar, SP Darrang ceremonially inaugurated the memorial crafted by young artisan Ajit Bania on the Mahasaptami evening.

DERGAON: About 15,000 people thronged the Dergaon Chariali this evening for the Puja immersion ceremony. The people of greater Dergaon area celebrated Durga puja with fervour and gaiety. Puja was held altogether at 43 pandals under Dergaon police station. The idols were immersed at Dergaon RCC bridge ghat of river Gelabeel, Pandit ghat of river Kakodonga and at Rangamatty of river Gelabeel. The police and civil authority were busy maintaining the law-and-order situation during the immersion ceremony. The Dergaon Circle officer Lakhimi Dutta and the OC Dergaon PS Rupjyoti Dutta conducted the immersion process.

The Puja pandals under Dergaon PS were Neghering Chariali Puja Committee (PC), Super market PC, Dergaon BOC PC, Dergaon ASTC PC, Dadhara PC, Rangamatty PC, Badulipar PC, Bongaon PC, Naren Sarma Smriti Pathar PC, Narikalguri PC, Bapuji Mandir PC, Baruah Bamungaon Rail Gate PC, Kuralguri PC, Lau Bhoga PC, Telia Sonari Gaon PC, North Block PC, Missamara TE PC, Gariajan TE PC, Rangagara Bagan PC, Upper Temeraa PC, Jaraguri North PC, Amguri Bazar PC, Danichapori Than PC, Burhi Gosani Than PC, 11th APBn PC, RTS PC, APTC PC, BTC PC, Milonpur PC, Phukan Nagar PC, Desoi PC, Balijan PC, PTC PC, Gelabeel PC, Jaraguri Paschim PC and Ganak Pukhuri Dwarika Gate PC.

The Puja Committees under Chomoni Police Out Post were Lukumai PC, Chumoni PC, Moheema TE (1) PC, Moheema TE (2) PC, Hatiakhowa PC, Borkathoni PC and Dwarikanath Goswami Gate PC. It is pertinent to mention that the Puja committees had earmarked the budgets starting from Rs 50,000 to Rs 12 lakhs.

SILCHAR: Waterlogging, the perennial problem which hit the streets here on Mahashtami morning on Sunday, could not dampen the zeal and enthusiasm among the people of Silchar.

With heavy rains lashing Silchar Saturday late night, pandals particularly in Ambikapatty and Shillongpatty areas were mostly affected. The puja pandal of Purba Ambikapur Sarbajanin Puja Committee was almost submerged because of the heavy downpour.

However, unfazed by the brief spells of rain since the evening of Mahanavami which proved to be a mood dampener, devotees of all ages thronged the Puja pandals braving the rain and inclement weather. “We thought our hopes to catch a glimpse of the Goddess on the final day of the celebrations will be crushed because of the rains. But this is an annual festival and rain matters the least. We are all here to enjoy to our heart’s content,” said Kaushik Dutta, a resident of New Silchar.

This year, a number of community Puja committees here celebrated jubilee years. While the Paschim Ambikapur Durga Puja Committee celebrated its golden jubilee year, Satsang Ashram Road Puja Committee came up with a gigantic pandal and idol of goddess Durga in its 25th year. But the rush was observed at the Puja pandal of Tarun Club at Sonai Road. Based on the lyrics of the famous briddhashram song sung by famed Bengali singer Nachiketa, the organisers of the Puja committee decorated their pandal with pictures and messages of how children send their parents to old-age homes. “The song portrays a staggering reality of the plight of the parents during their old age. We chose this as our theme since the syndrome to send parents to old-age home is catching up fast among the people of Silchar as well,” said Pappu Paul, a member of the committee.

The Puja organised by members of the All Medical Sales at Link Road point was one of the major attractions. This year the idols were prepared using various kinds of vegetable seeds. On the other hand, Apollo Club of Meherpur attracted large crowds with their message against deforestation. Goddess Durga was portrayed as Bana Durga, who was shown to fight against the demons trying to run away with logs from the woods.

In terms of lighting and glitz, the huge pandal of Bilpar Durgabari Puja committee had the maximum footfall during all the three days of the festival.

Meanwhile, women were seen smearing vermillion on each other during the Bijoya Dashami rituals today. Later, the whole city erupted with the loud noise of the drums for one last time as people bade goodbye to Goddess Durga. Sadarghat, the main venue of immersion here was vibrating with a sea of people dancing and singing to bid adieu to Durga ma.

Adequate arrangements were made by the Silchar Municipal Board and Cachar District administration for conducting the immersion process in a peaceful manner. Nearly 400 Pujas including private and community Pujas were organised in Silchar this year and till this report was filed around 50 idols have been immersed in river Barak. Rescue teams from SDRF and other were deployed at the immersion ghat for any emergency situation. Superintendent of Police Rajveer Singh said that elaborate security was made to prevent any incident during the immersion process.

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