Durga Puja celebrations in the Capital concluded with hundreds of idols from all over of the city heading towards the Yamuna for immersion as emotional devotees bid adieu to the 10-handed-goddess and her children on Monday.

According to a popular belief, goddess Durga visits her paternal home at this time of the year and after staying there for a few days, she returns to her husband lord Shiva. The immersion ceremony represents her journey back home.

On the last day of the festival, enthusiastic devotees of all age groups thronged the pandals to offer prayers to the deities

“It will be the same routine all over again from tomorrow. After four fun-filled days, I do not feel like going back to work. I am eagerly waiting for the festival next year. Hopefully the celebrations will become bigger, better then,” said Abhishek Sarkar, a visitor at a pandal in Chittranjan Park.

Amid chants of “glory to goddess Durga” and “long live mother Durga”, idols, carried in trucks, left the Puja venues after the customary Sindoor Khela, where women apply vermillion to the idols and each other. The chants continued as the processions passed through the designated routes as scores of devotees on trucks chanted slogans expressing their love and respect for the goddess.

In Delhi, immersions took place at two ghats of the Yamuna. This year, too, environmentalists have raised concerns over the pollution levels in the river as chemicals used in making the idols get mixed up in the water. The water body also becomes a dumping ground of other materials by devotees who visit the ghats.

To address this problem, some committees this year propagated the practice of making idols with completely bio-degradable material and building huge tanks to immerse them. “In Chittaranjan Park, for the first time, we organised immersion in tanks to cut down on the pollution in the Yamuna,’’ said area Councillor Virender Kasana, hoping that this trend would catch on.

The immersion in the Yamuna went peacefully with no untoward incident reported till late evening.

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