Durga Puja in Darrang
Durga idol is being immersed in Darrang. Image credit - Northeast Now

With the devotees bidding tearful adieu to Goddess Durga on Friday, the Durga Puja celebration in Darrang came to an end along with other parts of the country.

The Darrang district administration has made arrangements for smooth immersion of the idols of Goddess Durga.

Accordingly, immersion places along various rivers of the district including river Mangaldai of Mangaldai town, river Tongani of Dhula, Bornadi of Dumunichowki, Nanoi of Dolongghat and the part of the river Brahmaputra at Melaghat, Kharupetia among others were notified by the administration with adequate disaster risk management and security vigil.

A maximum of 10 persons including the driver and handyman are allowed to join the immersion ceremony while prohibiting any immersion procession.

Durga Puja celebrations began with a five-day-long programme on Monday with religious enthusiasm and traditional gaiety but following Covid19 SOP.

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This time, the district administration issued permission to nearly 170 community puja committees till the day of Maha Shasthi in comparison to 83 in Covid-hit 2020 and 188 in the normal pre-Covid period.

Mangaldai police station recorded the highest 73 community pujas followed by Kharupetia police staiton recording more than 50.

The possibilities of celebration of few other pujas without the necessary permission from the administration can’t be ruled out, sources said.

As the puja days were hot and sunny, a large number of puja revellers thronged the puja mandaps in the evening hours and due to the continuous flow of visitors, some puja mandaps were kept open even after the stipulated timeline as mentioned in the SOP.

The roadside dhabas and restaurants made a brisk business these days with the rush of customers till late hours beyond the SOP deadline.

With Covid19 SOP was still in place imposing various restrictions, the puja celebration was a low-key affair as most of the committees cut their budget on decoration and other artificial means to attract the visitors and seemed to rely on the creative handiworks of the idol makers or the sculptors.

Among the puja pandals here, the idols of the deities of Maa Lakshmi Society at the LNB road, sculptured adoring a traditional look of the rich Assamese culture attracted the puja revellers.

Apart from the idols of the deities, the entrance made of a huge traditional Assamese japi prepared by internationally acclaimed young artist Ajit Bania, placed over a set of ‘Bor Dhol’ and ‘Bor Kkah’ also turned out to be another theme of appreciation during the puja celebration.

The idol of the goddess permanently made of white granite in the 29th edition of Bamunpara Ancholik Sarvajanin puja also attracted the devotees and visitors far and wide.

The Royal Durga Puja of the Koch Royal dynasty has been celebrated in three different royal sites- Gakhir-Khowa Raja Howli, Mohanpur Howli and Dangar Raja Howli with more than 400 years old tradition and culture.

The face of the idol of the goddess in the royal puja was smeared with red colour to symbolize the deity in its warrior look.

Among these three royal pujas, animals are sacrificed only in Gakhir-Khowa Raja Howli puja.

Mayukh Goswami

Mayukh Goswami is Northeast Now Correspondent in Mangaldai. He can be reached at: mayukh.mld@gmail.com