Kolkata: Teary-eyed devotees bade an emotional farewell, as idols of goddess Durga and her children were immersed in ponds, lakes and rivers of West Bengal on Vijaya Dashami on Tuesday, bringing to an end to five days of revelry and celebration associated with the biggest festival of eastern India.
However, as decreed by the state government and the court, only idols worshipped in the households or apartment complexes were to be immersed till a deadline of 6 pm. The idols of community pujas would be immersed from Thursday. The government has decided not to allow any immersion on Wednesday on account of Muharram.
There was a festive look on the banks of the Ganga and other waterbodies. With drums playing the immersion beats “Thakur thakbe kotokshon, thakur jabe bisarjan (How long will the goddess stay on earth, She will now be immersed),” children, young and the old joined hands to slowly put the idols into the water.
Sad at the festival getting over for the year, there was some consolation from the loud cries of “asche bochor abar hobe (See you next year)”.
With Mahanavami over, it was now time for the goddess to return to her husband Lord Shiva at their heavenly abode in Mount Kailash after the annual sojourn to her paternal home.
Tight security arrangements were made at the rivebanks and launches were kept ready to rescue people in case of emergencies, police said.
The Dashami rituals in the morning saw married women preparing the goddess and her children for their long journey back home by smearing the deities and each other with red vermilion.
They also offered sweets to the god, and prayed for the well-being of their families and long lives of their husbands while performing these rituals.
There were long queues before sweet shops as people started visiting relatives and friends to wish each other “Shubho Bijoya (Happy Vijaya Dashami)”.