The Bengali Association, Visakhapatnam, the oldest association of Bengalis in the city, will be celebrating Durga puja with a host of programmes at the Town Hall, Beach Road, from September 24 to 28.

Briefing the press on Friday, association president U. Panchali Banerjee said that the club was formed in 1928 by a handful of Bengalis who had migrated to the city. Over the years, the association had swelled with members streaming down from all communities. The sarbojanin (community) Durga puja was started in 1941.

The ‘Durga Utsav’ is open to all communities. Traditional ‘bhog’ (community meal) will be served in the mornings and evenings will be laced with cultural programmes. The Durga Utsav will start from Mahasashti. ‘Devi bondhon’ will be done at 7 p.m. followed by a dance drama of Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Tasher Desh’ by students of Nrittyam under Panchali Banerjee.

Cultural programmes

Cultural programmes like fancy dress competition and orchestra will also be held during the five day fest. On Mahanabami, singer Maya Chakraborty and a cultural troupe from Kolkata will be performing.

Navaratri celebrations at Kali Matha Mandir, R.K. Beach, will commence from September 19 to 28. Koti Kumkumarcharchana Puja will be performed on all nine days between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. “Women from all walks of life can participate in the puja free of cost. All the puja items would be provided by the temple,” Prof. Sudeepta Banerjee, chairman and managing trustee of Bhabatarini Charitable Trust said here at a press meet.

Vedic pandits will also conduct Navavarna Puja, three Chandi homamas and one Purna Ahuti Puja as part of the celebrations. Cultural programmes will be conducted on all nine days in the temple premises. Devotional songs, bharatnatyam dance performance, veena recital and other programmes will be held in evenings.

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