JORHAT, Oct 20 - With an aim to spread the message of peace, prosperity, unity and brotherhood among the people irrespective of caste, religion, economic and communal identities, thousands of devotees in Jorhat started the celebration of Durga Puja during the Maha Sashthi on Monday.
Chanting of vedic hymns and prayers reverberated across the city since the afternoon and citizens of several localities plunged into festivities and merriment after the idols of Durga and her four children Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesha and the demon Mahisasur were brought to more than 78 puja mandaps in and nearby areas of the city.
�This year 78 committees of the city and its adjoining areas are registered in Jorhat. Thematically most of the celebrations are related to peace and prosperity,� said Sandip Nandi, one of the office bearers of Central Puja Coordination Committee of Jorhat.
However, the family pujas and the worship at Shakti-Pith do not belong to the registered committees with the Central Puja Co-ordination Committee.
He said that the celebration at Hari Sabha Pooja Mandir, Jorhat Puja Mandir and Jhanji Lahowal completed more than 100 years. According to a document, the Durga Puja celebration publicly was organised for the first time in 1912 at the Hari Sabha Puja Mandir on the Thana Road in the city.
However, the traditional worship of Durga with sacrifice of animals and birds is still prevalent in Burhi Gosanir Devalaya in the city that bears the heritage of royal celebration of Durga Puja by Ahom rulers in the State.