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Durga Puja ends with immersion of idols

Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the minority Hindus, ended with the immersion of idols across the country on Wednesday evening.

In the capital Dhaka, thousands of Hindu devotees thronged the river Buriganga in the evening to immerse the idols of Goddess Durga, the final phase of the festival.

Devotees in their tearful eyes bade farewell to the mother deity and her children – Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh – as the idols were immersed, wishing the Goddess Durga’s return next year.

There were strict security measures in place so that Durga puja could end peacefully.

On the last day of the puja on Wednesday, devotees thronged mandaps in Dhaka and elsewhere across the country for Bijoya Dashami, the last day of the grand festival, to celebrate the triumph of the Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.

Families visited each other and exchanged sweetmeat. Married Hindu women put vermilion on each other’s forehead on the occasion.

In Bangladesh this year, the religious festival was celebrated at some 32,168 puja mandaps across the country, including 241 in Dhaka.

The five-day festival started on Saturday last with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga marking Sashthi.

Durga Puja, the annual Hindu festival also known as Sharadiya (autumnal) Durga Utsab, is the worship of “Shakti” (divine force) embodied in the Goddess Durga.

It symbolises the battle between good and evil where the dark forces eventually succumb to the divine.

President Abdul Hamid exchanged greetings of Durga Puja with the leaders of country’s Hindu community and noted personalities at Bangabhaban on Wednesday night.

Hindu religious community leaders, Hindu Religion Welfare Trust members, leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, Dhaka Mahanagar Sarbajonin Committee and representatives of different professional organisations joined the function at Bangabhaban.