AS THE heavy rush of devotees thronged different puja pandals to pay their obeisance to Goddess Durga, the temple town of Varanasi seems to have turned into a replica of mini Bengal during the ongoing Navratra festival.
An ambience of euphoria along with religious and spiritual sense was palpable on Friday and Saturday evening as the fragrance of ‘Lohban’ and ‘Dhup’ pervaded in the air along with the chanting of Vedic mantras in different puja pandals.
Different traditional dance items like ‘Dhak’ and ‘Dhunuchi’ have also been organised in different puja sites to pay their obeisance to Goddess Durga. A traditional Bengali play ‘Jatra’ was organised by Kashi Durgotsav Samiti in Shivala area on Friday evening.
The ever-busiest routes of Sonarpura-Gaudaulia, Gaudaulia-Lahuraveer, Lahuraveer-Teliabagh, Ramapura-Gaudaulia and Gaudaulia-Luxa have been witnessing heavy rush of devotees approaching toward different puja sites.
Thousands of makeshift shops of food items and soft drinks have been set up at different localities. Devotional songs, decorative light arrangements and giant welcome gates are adding flavour to the Navtara celebration.
Prominent puja pandals at Hathua market, Chetganj, Bhelupura, Sonarpura, Machchodari, Sarai Goerdhanpur and Sigra have been drawing much crowds of devotees.
The district administration has already imposed traffic restrictions on prominent routes to give smooth passage to devotees. Devotees also observed fast on the day of Maha Ashtami on Saturday. Special puja, ‘Kunwari Kanya pujan, was also organised at different places. Ramkrishna Mission organised a ‘Kunwari Kanya Pujan’ on its premises amid chanting of Vedic mantras in Luxa area.