Mahalaya indicating the arrival of Durga Puja | Silchar Durga Puja

Countdown for Durga Puja begins with Mahalaya

SILCHAR, October 4: “Ya devi sarbabhuteshshu, sakti rupena sanksthita Namasteshwai Namasteshwai Namasteshwai namo namaha.” Could you recall anything? Yes, this is the mantra from Chandi, a religious book, which is now chanting out in every pandal indicating the arrival of Durga Puja, the countdown for which began from today.

The celebration for puja began with Mahalaya, which falls today. The people of the town celebrated the occasion like every other years by thronging to Sadarghat Bridge over river Barak. Men, women and children flocked to the streets, sweetshops flung open their shutters, and balloon–sellers came with the colourful inflated spheres fluttering in the air. These were the most common pictures the town witnessed in this morning.

1-Pranabananda Das-Mahalaya-Silchar (1)In the wee hours, the melodious tunes of the Mahisasur Mardini (the Annihilation of the Demon) in radio and loudspeakers of different puja pandals rinsed the ears of all. The old radio sets which lie unused are taken out so that the broadcasting of Mahisasur Mardini could be heard on it.

Mahalaya is the last day of ‘Pitripakha’, a 16 days lunar period, and the beginning of ‘Devipaksha’. It is a day to remember the ancestors. The day also marked the end of Tarpan, the ritual of commemorating and honouring the deceased members of the family by offering tributes on a waterbody. It is believed that on the day of Mahalaya, Goddess Durga is invited to her parental home. Moreover, on the day of Mahalaya, the eyes of the idols of Durga are painted to mark the descent of the Goddess to earth and to breathe life into the idol.

Different puja committees took out processions in the morning, besides some organization held cultural shows. A group of local drummers added to the celebration. A replica of mickey–mouse also was witnessed moving in the town which provided a kind of enthusiasm to the children in particular. The well known dancer, Rupendu Das alias Bappi, who held the record of dancing for 50 hours at a stress, also performed near the Sadarghat Bridge. A few organizations also served water to the visitors. Source: The Sentinel