GUWAHATI, Oct 2 � With the ceremonial installation of Goddess Durga at the altar on the Maha Sasthi day today, the much-awaited Durga Puja festivities got under way across the State.
The five-day Durga Puja � among the biggest festivals in the region � is celebrated with traditional gaiety and religious fervour in thousands of beautifully-decorated and illuminated puja mandaps throughout the State. The festivities draw spontaneous and universal participation of the masses, cutting across the barriers of community and creed.
The Maha Sasthi day marked the installation of the idols of the goddess and her four children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik, which was followed by elaborate rituals involving chanting of the hymns, aarati, beating of the dhaks and blowing of the conch, and the lighting of earthen lamps and incense sticks.
While the devout have already started visiting the mandaps to pay obeisance to the goddess, pandal-hopping in the real sense of the term would begin from tomorrow, i.e., the day of Maha Saptami.
The city, too, has donned the festive look, with several hundred puja mandaps getting ready to welcome the teeming masses tomorrow onwards.