|Members of Koch Dynasty ready to observe 400-year-old royal Durga Puja|
MANGALDAI, Oct 19 - Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the Royal dynasty of Koch king Dharma Narayan here are all set to celebrate the Durga Puja festival which has a history and tradition of more than 400 years. The festival will be celebrated from next Thursday in all the three ‘Raja Howlis’ – namely Gakhirkhowa Howly, Dangar Howly and Mohanpur Howly near here. Like the previous years, idols of Goddess Durga in her ‘Ranachandi’ (warrior) form with its face red in appearance will be installed following traditional rituals but free from any artificial and noisy touches. Among these three celebrations, like the previous years at Gakhirkhowa Howly there will be sacrifices of animals and birds before the deity.
However, unlike previous years this time the Royal family will refrain themselves from sacrificing male buffaloes. “We will observe the puja following all COVID protocols set by the administration. Initially we were planning to observe it with a ‘ghot’ instead of idols of the deities. But later we decided to bring in readymade idols smaller in size from Kalaigaon. This time buffalo sacrifice will not be performed”, said Kumar Dharmendra Narayan Deb, a member of the Royal dynasty while talking to this news paper on Monday.
On the other hand due to the ongoing COVID situation, the celebration of Durga Puja, one of the biggest festivals of the State is most likely to be a low-key affair. According to an official report, organisers of only 78 community pujas so far have approached the authorities for necessary permission against 188 and 184 in the last two years respectively.