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Durga Puja At Golaghat

Durga Puja at Golaghat

Durga Puja is one of the most popular religious festivals in India. It is widely celebrated in eight States—Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Odisha, Tripura and Meghalaya—although not quite less popular in other States too. It is more or less celebrated by Hindu communities in the UK, Australia and the USA. Like many other places, Durga Puja is also celebrated at Golaghat.

Durga Puja at Golaghat

Pandal-hopping crowd gather near Sanatan Dharma Samaj Durga Puja Mandir at Bata Point, Golaghat

By Mithu Das   October 05, 2017

According to Hindu legend, Goddess Durga has killed Mahishasura to free the world from his tyranny. Lashed with ten deadly weapons—one weapon for each hand (it is believed that she has ten hands)—and accompanied by a lion, Durga turned herself into a valiant warrior and killed Mahishasura in a fierce battle. Legend has it that Devas worshiped Devi Durga for four days (Sashthi to Navami) at Katyayani Muni’s Ashrama to request her to kill Mahishasura.

It is believed that Devi Durga visits her parents' home during Durga Puja. She is accompanied by her two sons—Kartikeya and Ganesha—and two daughters—Lakshmi and Sarasvati. In any puja pandal, one may see idols—which are made of clay—of her children standing side by side while mother Durga is fighting with Mahishasura.

Durga Puja, which is celebrated in September or October, runs for four days (or five). The first day starts at Sasthi and following Saptami, Ashtami and Navami it ends at Dashami. In the last day of the Puja, idols are immersed in rivers or large ponds and lakes. It is believed that as soon as the idols are immersed in water Durga returns to her husband Shiva's home—in Kailash.

During the four (or five) days of Puja, people visit pandals to worship Devi Durga and offer foods or prasad to her. Pandals are made according to various themes and ideas which attract hundreds of visitors every day. Similarly, melas are organized in the streets where people can buy different kinds of goods. Foods are one of the main attraction of these melas. It has been observed that children enjoy Durga Puja much more than adults enjoy it. They like to wear new cloths, play with toys and roam the streets with their parents.

Like many other places in India, Durga Puja is also celebrated at Golaghat. Here are some of the moments of Durga Puja at Golaghat captured on camera.

Durga Puja at Ramakrishna Seva Sadan, Golaghat
Durga Puja at Ramakrishna Seva Sadan, Golaghat
Durga Puja at Ramkrishna Seva Sadan compound, Golaghat
People offering earthen lamps and joss sticks to Goddess Durga at Ramkrishna Seva Sadan compound.
Durga Puja Mela near Doss & Co., Golaghat
Mela-goers roaming the streets, near Doss & Co., Golaghat
Durga Puja at Tokani Circle, Golaghat
Durga Puja at Tokani Circle.
Durga Puja at Golaghat
Pandal-hopping crowd gather near Sanatan Dharma Samaj Durga Puja Mandir at Bata Point, Golaghat

Dashami celebration, Dhansiri River, Golaghat
It is Dashami—the day of immersion of idols. Spectators gather on the Dhansiri River Bridge while trucks loaded with idols heading towards the river bank.
Adivashi people celebrating Dashami, Golaghat
Dancing and singing with the beat of the drum, a group of Adivashi people leading vehicles loaded with idols to the bank of the Dhansiri River.
Idols of Ganesha and Lakshmi
A labourer who helps unload idols from truck is standing with the idols of Ganesha and Lakshmi.
Immersion of Durga idols in Dhansiri River, Golaghat
Standing on the bank of Dhansiri, Goddess Durga is ready to return to her husband's home.
Dusshera at Golaghat
Dusshera at Golaghat. While immersion of idols is going on in one side of the Dhansiri, an effigy of Ravan is waiting to be burned on the other side.
Idol immersion in Dhansiri River, Golaghat
Devotees immerse Devi Durga in the Dhansiri River.

Recently, idol immersion in rivers has been strictly banned in many places in India. Digging temporary ponds for immersion of idols is proved to be far better way to minimise the level of pollution. We request the civic bodies of Golaghat to follow the guidelines set by the Central Pollution Control Board for idol immersion in rivers.

All images are copyrighted to Mithu Das.

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