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Durga Puja preparations going on in full swing

Durga Puja preparation is going on in full swing across the country with only three days left for the biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community. The annual five-day Sharadiyo Durgotsab will begin with the unveiling of the face of the deity, Kalparambho, Adhibash and Abahon (invocation) on the day of Maha Shasthi on October 20 (Friday). The festival will end with the immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga on Bijoya Dashami on October 24 (Tuesday) followed by Maha Saptami on October 21, Maha Ashtami on October 22 and Maha Nabami on October 23. The countdown of Durga Puja began with the celebration of the Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion heralding the advent of Goddess Durga, was celebrated on Saturday. Idol makers and artisans are now passing their busiest time in giving the final touches on idols for Durga Puja at puja mandaps across the country. Generally, the idols are made diligently and methodically by the artisans to create exquisite pieces of artistry. Durga Puja will be celebrated at 32,408 mandaps across the country this year including 245 in the capital, according to Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad (BPUP). BPUP general secretary Prof Chandranath Poddar said the country saw Durga Puja celebration at 32,168 mandaps including 241 in the capital last year. He said they have already held meeting with law enforcement agencies and concerned departments of the government for the peaceful celebration of the puja. “We are hopeful, Durga Puja will be celebrated across the country peacefully in proper manner,” he said. He said volunteers will work at every puja mandap round the clock during the five-day Durga Puja to help the law enforcement agencies to avert any untoward situation. In the capital Dhaka, the main puja mandaps are at Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramkrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Banani, Shakhari Bazar and Ramna Kali Mandir. Major divisional cities including port city Chattogram, Rajshahi, Khulna and Sylhet and district towns including Faridpur, Dinajpur, Jashore, Kushtia, Satkhira, also witness massive celebration of Durga Puja. Puja shopping is also getting momentum in the last week ahead of Puja as major markets and malls are now crowded with customers. Durga Puja signifies the birth of Durga with the blessings of gods, as a collective energy, to fight the demon king Mahishasura. Exquisitely crafted and decorated life-size clay idols of the Goddess Durga depicting her slaying the demon Mahishasura are being set up in temples and Durga Puja mandaps ahead of the celebration. These idols will be worshiped for five days and immersed in the river on the fifth day. The puja is performed in temples, homes and temporary mandaps. The celebrations also include other major deities of Hinduism such as goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth, prosperity), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and music), Ganesha (god of good beginnings) and Kartikeya (god of war). Stringent security measures will be taken across the country during the celebration of Durga Puja to avert any untoward situation.

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