Delhi bids adieu to Durga on Vijayadashami

Culture

Eyetalk

October 5, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Wide smiles displaying bright white teeth that shone through a face deeply smeared in red, dancing with joy and gaiety, thousands of devotees gathered in Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park to bid adieu to their favourite deity, Goddess Durga, marking the end of the Durga Puja on the day of Vijayadashmi or Dassehra.

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Women, dressed in traditional Bengali sarees, men sporting the dhoti-kurtas and children turned up in strength on the day that brings curtains down on the biggest festival of the Bengali community worldwide.

One of the largest gatherings was at the Kali Mandir, the main temple in the area, which had well over 1000 persons turning up for the final session of prayers followed by goodbyes. The highlight of the day was Sindoor Khela, a tradition where married women apply Sindoor or vermillion on the forehead of the Goddess before the idols are taken for immersion.

Similar functions were held at the numerous spots where the pandals had been set up for Durga Puja, notably at the Mela Ground and the Ramlila Ground.

In many ways, Durga Puja 2022 saw celebrations that matched or exceeded their pre-pandemic levels. ‘‘There is much more eagerness and excitement amongst us all this year than even in 2018 or 2019. It is because the festival celebrations had been muted for the last two years and hence people are eager to enjoy the festivities with an even greater enthusiasm,’’ some of the participants take a moment from their Sindoor Khela to tell Media India Group.

Indeed, it was not just the Bengali community or the devotees of Durga. Chittaranjan Park in New Delhi, the mini-Bengal of the national capital, had seen tens of thousands of people converge over the past week as people from all over Delhi and neighbouring areas turned up for the celebrations, praying to larger than life idols of the deities set up in glamourous pandals erected in every corner of this southern Delhi locality. A festive spirit had been visible all around as besides attending the prayer sessions, there is a lot more for the people to experience — from the best of authentic Bengali cuisine to toys and rides for the children. Residents of the C R Park say they were excited to see the vibrancy and colours return and the festivities continued right until early hours of the morning each day.

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