Ending four days of revelry and celebration, idols of Goddess Durga were immersed by teary-eyed devotees. Puja pandals across the city set out for immersion after the final aarti on Sunday evening.
But not before married women had performed the tradition of sindoor khela, where they apply vermillion on the foreheads of each other and Goddess Durga.
The idol of Kullol Sarvajanik Puja at Goregaon was taken to Juhu beach for immersion. “After the joyous four days we spent conducting aartis, pushpanjali and bonding over the rituals, it is time for the Goddess to return,” said Utpal Chaudheri, a member of the organising committee.
On the final day, after the puja and pushpanjali, the pujaris performed an elaborate aparajeeta mantra, after which people could touch the idol.
For many Bengalis, nothing could replace the puja in Kolkata. Sixty-year-old Dipti Mukherjee says though she is away from home, she tries to follow all the traditions.
“The pujas back home were simple. Yet, one had more devotion, which cannot be found in the commercial pandals of the city. But after all, it is the Goddess and Her blessings that matter,” she adds.
At the Mumbai Asomiya Sarvajanik Durga Puja at Assam Bhavan in Vashi, the Assamese community in the city gets together for cultural programmes.
“During Durga puja people bond over the rituals,” said Debashish Sharma, deputy residential commissioner of Assam Bhavan. Summing up the whole mood, Sharma said: “It feels like returning to an empty house after giving away one’s daughter.”
Meanwhile, an autorickshaw and a procession truck carrying a Durga idol for visarjan caught fire in Ghatkopar.