DHAKA, BANGLADESH, Octoer 15, 2013 (The Daily Star): The five-day-long Durga Puja, the greatest of all Hindu festivals, ended yesterday with solemn immersion of the murthis of the goddess Durga across the country. Thousands of Hindus in the capital marched with spectacular truck processions carrying murthis of Durga towards the Buriganga for immersion. The young and the elderly joined hands to slowly put the murthis into the water at the climax of the festival in the evening. Devotees thronged the puja mandaps to celebrate Bijoya Dashami, the last day of the festival, since the morning. Yesterday was a public holiday.
Durga puja is the worship of Shakti or divine power embodied in the goddess Durga. It symbolises the battle between good and evil where the dark forces eventually succumbed to the divine forces.
President Abdul Hamid hosted a reception for the Hindus at Bangabhaban while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited some temples in the capital yesterday. During the reception, Hamid called upon all to contribute to the development of the country by maintaining glorious stream of communal harmony.
This year, over 28,000 makeshift puja mandaps or marquees with flowers and multi-coloured lights were erected across the country. The Dhakeswari National Temple, the biggest and oldest Hindu monastery in the capital, drew the highest number of devotees. The state-run and private television channels and radios aired special programmes while newspapers published special supplements on the great religious festival.