Photographer's Note

The worship of Durga in the autumn ('Shorot') is the year's largest Hindu festival, Orissa, Tripura, Assam, Jharkhand and other parts of East India as well as in Bangladesh. Durga Puja is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan according to local traditions and variations. Puja means "worship," and Durga's Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of 'Ashwin', which is the sixth month in the Bengali calendar. Occasionally however, due to shifts in the lunar cycle relative to the solar months, it may also be held in the following month, Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, these dates correspond to the months of September/October.
In Kolkata alone more than ten thousand pandals are set up, all clamouring for the admiration and praise of the populace. The city is adorned with lights. People from all over the country visit the city at this time, and every night is one mad carnival where thousands of people go 'pandal-hopping' with their friends and family...
Bijoya Dashami was observed throughout the country today amidst immersion of idols of goddessDurga bringing to an end the five-day festival.
The immersion is seen by the devotees as the departure of Goddess Durga from her maternal home for her husband Lord Shiva's abode in Mount Kailash.
In keeping with the tradition, married women carried out ritualistic 'Debi baran' (offering prayers with sweets) and 'sindur khela' (smearing each other with vermilion). Large queues were observed in front of Puja pandals where women clad in white and red-bordered sarees waited for their turn to bid a tearful farewell to the Goddess.
***FOCAL length=70mm....***

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Additional Photos by SUBIR BASAK (photographer123) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 177 N: 1325] (6248)
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