The venue of Durga Utsav, being performed by Vijayawada Bengali Association, reverberated with the chants of Jai Durga, Jai Jai Durga, at Gymkhana Ground in Gandhinagar in the city on Tuesday.

Members of the Bengali Association celebrated the 37 Sarbojanin Durga Utsav, from October 20 for five days during Dasara festival. More than 200 families participated in the ‘Sandhi Puja’ and ‘Chandi Path’ performed every day during the utsav.

The purohit performed the puja with colourful flowers and offered ‘sandhya aarti’ on Tuesday.

He distributed ‘bhog prasad’ (prasadam) and the traditional Dhunuch dance was performed at the mandap.

“We began Durga Puja with ‘Sashti Puja’ on October 20, followed by ‘Saptami Puja’, ‘Maha Ashtami Puja’, ‘Sandhi Puja’, and ‘Nabami Puja’ on Tuesday. The utsav will conclude with ‘Dashami Puja’ on Vijayadashami Day”, said association president Utpal Talukdar.

The idol maker (Durga Protima), priest and ‘dhakis’ (traditional drummers) were brought from Kolkata. The priests chanted the ‘mantras’ in Sanskrit. Devotees urged Durga Matha to shower her blessings on them, said Mr. Talukdar.

Sindhur Holi

The devotees will invite goddess Kanaka Durga from ‘Malya’ (a place) on the sixth day of the utsav. It is believed that Durga Matha comes from Himalayas, to her parents’ house and the devotees celebrate the festival with happiness during her stay.

“We perform pujas to Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Ganesh, Karthik and Durga Devi. The married women will play ‘Sindhur Holi’ by applying sindhur on others’ forehead after decorating themselves.

On ‘Dashami Puja’ day, they will send the goddess back (Bisarjan) with tears in their eyes after immersing in waters and requesting her to come back for next Dasara,” said the Bengalees.

In the evening, cultural programmes and traditional dances were conducted.

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