GUWAHATI, Sept 27 - Following the ceremonial installation of the idols of Goddess Durga in the beautifully-decorated mandaps yesterday, the celebrations got into the festive mood today, with the observance of Maha Saptami all over the State.
In the city, the temperatures have not been exactly what one would have associated with the Durga Puja, but nevertheless it failed to put a dampener on the enthusiasm of the devotees and puja-revellers alike.
By evening the crowds hit the street with gusto and started thronging the puja mandaps in their hordes.
While installation of the idols of Goddess Durga is done on the Maha Sasthi day � marking auspicious beginning of the goddess�s five-day earthly sojourn � the celebrations in the real sense of the term begin from the Maha Saptami day.
Over 500 puja mandaps in and around the city � decoratively illuminated right from their approach roads � lit up the skyline, as they seemed to vie for attraction of the onlookers. If the exquisitely-crafted Durga idols evoked awe and reverence, the dazzling illuminations heightened the festive spirit.
In keeping with the trend, many of the illuminations � right from the approach roads and within the vicinity of the mandaps � were innovative. They depicted a wide array of themes, including those on current happenings, in a novel way.
The pujas at Beltola, Latasil, Maligaon, Pandu, Athgaon, Nayantara, Binapani, Chandmari and Ganeshguri in the city were among those that attracted the maximum crowds. Even the consequent traffic congestions had little impact on the zest of the pandal-hoppers who were determined to make the most of the first day�s celebrations.
Shops and business concerns, especially those dealing in garments and sweets, and shopping malls and restaurants did brisk business and operated till late into the night. Small makeshift shops selling toys and children ware and temporary eateries also remained hubs of activities. Areas like Ganeshguri, Fancy Bazar, Machkhowa, Paltan Bazar, Panbazar, Beltola, Maligaon, Lakhtokia, etc., in the city witnessed considerable rush since evening.