Effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarana went up in flames amid spectacular fireworks on Wednesday evening as Dussehra — a festival symbolising the victory of good over evil — was celebrated with gaiety across the Capital.
The festivities of Durga Puja also came to an end as idols of the deity were immersed in the Yamuna by devotees smeared with vermilion, who danced to the rhythm of drums and cries of “Jai Mata Di”. Elaborate security arrangements were put in place at all venues to prevent any untoward incident.
Some Durga Puja organisers in the Capital, however, were not happy with the low water level of the Yamuna. “I’ve been in Delhi for over 50 years. Today we went for immersion at Geeta Ghat and were shocked to see the water barely reaching above the ankle” said Dipayan Mazumdar, an organiser of the Kashmere Gate Durga Puja committee.
Hundreds of idols of Goddess Durga were immersed in the Yamuna, choking the dying river further. More than 100 trucks, packed with devotees, had lined up along the riverbank at Kalindi Kunj to immerse about 3,000 idols of Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartik.
The clay idols were towed towards the river by three cranes.
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People dressed in their festive best visited friends and relatives and exchanged gifts and thronged temples that were decked up with lights and flowers to offer their prayers on the culmination of nine days of prayers and fasting to mark the victory of Ram over Ravana.Crowds thronged popular Ramlila venues like the Lav-Kush and Shri Nav Dharmik Lila committees in Old Delhi and the Shri Ramlila Committee in Punjabi Bagh.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were among the leaders who witnessed the burning of the effigy of Ravana, a symbol of evil, at Subhash Maidan near the Red Fort.Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, lieutenant governor Tejendra Khanna were also present at the event.