DHAKA Durga Puja the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community begins with Maha Sashthi puja at temples across the country tomorrow amid festivity and religious fervor.
On the occasion preparations in all the puja mandaps have nearly been completed as artisans are busy giving final touches on idols and pandals across the country marking the festival.
In separate messages President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conveyed greetings to the members of the countrys Hindu community marking the festival.
The five day Sharadiyo Durgotsav starts with Sashthi Puja tomorrow while the celebration will come to an end with the immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga in the nearby rivers and water bodies across the country on October 8.
The incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga was held today at temples ahead of the puja.
To mark the Sashthi tomorrow recitation of the verses from the Holy Chandi and blowing of conch shells (Shankha) and beating of dhak dhols (drums) will be heard in temples and pandals throughout the day. The Shashthi puja will begin through Kalparombha in the morning.
Maha Saptami puja will be held on Saturday Maha Ashtami Kumari Puja and Sandhi Puja on Sunday Maha Nabami Puja on Monday and Bijoya Dashami on Tuesday.
Though Durga Puja is a religious festival of Hindu community members of other communities also take part in the celebration. This is the unique example of non communal Bangalee nation said Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad (BPUP) General Secretary Nirmal Kumar Chattarjee.
The Durga Puja will be celebrated at 31398 permanent and temporary puja mandaps across the country this year according to BPUP.
The number of puja mandaps has increased by 483 this year as the total number was 30915 in the last year.
According to the parishad a total of 237 puja mandaps will arrange Durga Puja in the capital Dhaka while the number of mandaps was 234 in the last year.
Durga Puja will be celebrated at 7271 mandaps in Dhaka division 4456 in Chattogram 2545 in Sylhet 4936 in Khulna 3512 in Rajshahi 5305 in Rangpur 1741 in Barishal and 1632 in Mymensingh. The highest 1774 puja pandals will be arranged in Chattogram district.
In Dhaka city the largest number of crowd of devotees will be seen at Dhakeshwari National Temple Ramkrishna Mission and Math Kalabagan Banani Shakhari Bazar and Dhaka University Jagannath Hall puja mandaps.
Security has been beefed up in all Puja pandals throughout the country including the capital with the deployment of additional squads of Ansars police RAB and other law enforcers for peaceful celebration of the festival. Besides voluntary groups will also perform duties at the puja pandals.
Closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) archways and metal detectors have been installed at all puja mandaps across the country.
Law enforcers including intelligence personnel will remain alert to thwart the trouble makers during the Puja celebrations
A mood of festivities has been witnessed among the devotees irrespective of ages marking the festival.
Draped in new dresses a large numbers of devotees of all ages will throng the city pandals particularly at Dhakeshwari National Temple and offer prayers before the Goddess Durga seeking peace prosperity and welfare of the country and its people.
Apart from offering prayers before the Goddess Dhakeshwari National Temple at Lalbagh has chalked out other programmes including rendition of devotional songs distribution of clothes among the poor distribution of Mohaprosad Arati competition voluntary blood donation and bringing out a Bijoya Dashami procession in the city from the temple premises.
Preparations have also been completed in the tastefully decorated Puja pandals at Ramkrishna Mission and Math Ramna Kalimandir O Anandamayee Ashram Kalabagan Baradeshwari Kalimata Mandir Siddheshwari Kalibari Bholanath Mandir Ashram Jagannath Hall Rishipara Gautam Ashram Gulshan Banani Sarbojonin Puja Parishad Basabo Balurmath Bonogram South Maishundi Shankhari Bazar Tanti Bazar Panitola Farashganj North Brook Hall Road Lalbagh and other places in the city.
On the eve of the festival leaders of Bangladesh Puja Utjapan Parishad Mahanagar Sarbajonin Puja Committee and Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad extended greetings to the members of all communities of the country.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee this year decided that the immersion of idols of Durga Puja would be done by 10 pm on the day of Bijoya Dashami across the country.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)