Mahalaya observed with prayers
Kolkata: People across the observed the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya on Tuesday, which ushers in the Durga Puja.
Mahalaya amavasya, which marks the end of pitripaksha and beginning of devipaksha is considered very auspicious for paying obeisance to one's ancestors.
The day began with the airing of the eight decade-old Mahisasura Mardini programme over radio at the break of dawn. Later hundreds of people congregated at the banks of the Hooghly for tarpan, which is paying obeisance to their forefathers.
Elaborate arrangements made by Kolkata Police in ensuring safety and security of people visiting the ghats of the river to offer tarpan was widely appreciated. Additional policemen were posted at all the ghats along river Hooghly to ensure that no untoward incident happened when people turned up at the ghats in the morning.
Almost all the ghats in the city were crowded till evening. But proper management by Kolkata Police ensured that not a single person faced any sort of inconvenience.
Besides posting policemen and lady cops at the ghats, River Traffic section of the city police was also vigilant in avoiding any untoward incident.
Officers of the River Traffic Police were on duty on boats. They had anchored the boats near each ghat and kept a close watch whether anyone was crossing the danger limit while taking the dip or not.
There were constant announcements by the officers in the boats to make people aware that they shouldn't cross the danger limit and such precautionary measures helped the police in avoiding any unpleasant incident.
Proper arrangements had been made for parking of cars as well. There were earmarked places where people kept their cars before going to the ghats to offer tarpan and it helped in avoiding traffic congestion.
Similar arrangements were also made by Howrah City Police in the opposite bank of river Hooghly.
Though the weather played spoilsport with few spells of heavy showers, it failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the city dwellers who went out for shopping soon after the morning rituals. With only one Sunday remaining before the Pujas start, shopkeepers are expecting a heavy turnout. However, everyone's eyes are at the weather as there are predictions of rain in the next couple of days by the MeT department.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated several Puja mandaps on Mahalaya. The Chief Minister wished everybody on the occasion through posts on social networking sites.