MANGALDAI, Oct 16 - Durga Puja celebrations began on Monday in Darrang district and on Tuesday, Mahasaptami was celebrated with religious enthusiasm and traditional gaiety.
With the addition of a few new community pujas including that of Udayan Sanggha at ward no-1, Mangaldai and Tribeni Ancholik Sanggha at Mudoibori along the Udalguri border, this time the total number of pujas in the district has increased to 190 from 184 last year.
According to sources, Mangaldai Sadar Police Station has the highest 74 pujas, followed by 54 under Kharupetia PS. This includes three separate historical pujas of the Royal Koch dynasty at Gakhirkhowa Raja Howly, Dangar Raja Howli and Mohanpur Howli near here. These pujas were started by Koch king Dharma Narayan nearly 400 years ago.
The significance of this Royal puja is that the face of the Durga idol always bears red colour symbolising the deity in its appearance of a warrior. Moreover, out of the main three days of celebration, the common people are not allowed to take part on the first two days, i.e., on Mahasaptami and Mahastami as these two days of celebrations are kept reserved for members of the royal family while the Mahanavami is made free for celebration of local people in the absence of the royal members.
Kumar Dinendra Narayan Deb, one of the members of the royal dynasty informed that puja celebrations in all the three �howli�s have been going on in a traditional manner like before, free of any artificiality, with the offering of sacrifice before the deity only at the Gakhir Khowa Raja Howli. �Sacrificing of buffaloes, goats, ducks etc., will be performed on the day of Mahastami at Gakhir Khowa Howli and preparations for this have been completed,�, he said.
Besides these three celebrations of the royal dynasty, there are several other community pujas in the district including Mangaldai Barowary Puja near Natya Mandir, Awlachouka Sarvajanin Durga Puja at the Awlachouka United Club, Ramhari Sarvajanin Durga Puja, Chapai Durga Puja, Durga Puja at Hanuman temple in Kharupetia, Durga Puja at Tiger Club, Kharupetia etc., which have crossed 25 years to 100 years.
The district civil and police administration meanwhile have made arrangements for smooth immersion ceremony of the idols of goddess Durga on Friday. Accordingly, four immersion places along the Mangaldai, Tongani , Bornadi rivers at Dumunichuki and Nanoi river at Dolonghat have been notified by the administration.