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Mahalaya heralds Durga Puja for Hindu devotees
One of the most popular and most-awaited Hindu festivals,Durga Puja, has begun with the invitation for Devi Durga to descend to the Earth at the beginning of Devi-Paksha.
Durga Puja started with the Mahalaya Puja on Monday, said Ranjit Chakrabarty, the chief priest at Dhakeshwari Temple.
The main chapter of Durga Puja will kick off through Bodhon on Oct 14 and end on Oct 19 through Bijaya Dashami when the idol of Devi Durga will be immersed in water.
Durga Puja will be celebrated at 30,258 marquees throughout the country which is 863 more than the last year, Shailendranath Majumder, chief of Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee told bdnews24.com.
The number of puja marquees in Dhaka Metropolitan has increased to 234 this year from 229 in last year.
The Durga puja festivities will not take place in four venues it was performed in last year but five new venues have been added, said Majumder.
Durga Puja this year has become special with the looming election. We urge the government to take sufficient security measures. We have spoken to the law enforcement agencies and they have assured us. We hope this year the Durga Puja will bring more happiness.
It is believed that goddess Durga appears on the Earth as the daughter of Sage Katyani on the eve of Mahalaya to culminate Mahishasura.
According to the Hindu calendar, this year the goddess will appear on a horse and leave on a palanquin.
According to the scriptures, the goddesss arrival on a horse marks social, political and familial unrest and her departure on a palanquin marks natural disaster, priest Chakrabarty explained.
ADVENT OF THE GODDESS
According to Hindu scripture- Mahalaya, Bodhon and Sandhi Puja are the three chapters of Durga Puja.
Durga Puja begins with Mahalaya. The day marks the beginning of Devi-Paksha and the end of Pitri-Paksha. The devotees pray and offer food for the salvation of their ancestors soul during a portion of the Pitri -Paksha, which is called Tarpan.
The Mahalaya rituals began on Monday morning in Dhakeshwari Temple and other temples throughout the country.
Bodhon of goddess Durga will take place on Oct 14 followed by ÔAdhibas on Oct 15 marking the beginning of the main chapter of the puja.
Mahasaptami falls on Oct 16 followed by Sandhipuja on Oct 17. There will be Kumari Puja at Ramakrishna Mission Monastery.
The festivities of Durga Puja will end through the immersion of the idol of Devi Durga on Oct 20.
DMP SPECIAL SECURITY MEASURE
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police has clustered the puja pandals in the city in a few categories and has taken necessary measures to ensure security during the puja season, said DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia.
Anyone spreading false information on the social media platforms in order to create trouble will be taken to task, he warned.
Police have arranged separate entry and exit points to the pandals, power generators, fire extinguishers, CCTV-archways and deployed volunteer men and women, police members, special branch police and RAB dog squad patrols in addition to organising sufficient lighting for the day of immersion.
No hawkers or makeshift shops will be allowed near the pandals and no special fairs will be allowed near the puja pandal either.
A special team of police will be patrolling to prevent eve-teasing and mugging. One must enter the pandal through metal detector archway and undergo a body search, said the police official.