The five-day Durga Puja, the greatest of all Hindu festivals, will come to an end today with solemn immersion of the Goddess Durga in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
Devotees are thronging Puja mandaps to celebrate Bijoya Dashami, the last day of the festival and reciting the mantras and offering flowers to the goddess Durga (pushpanjali) and praying for her blessings.
Each of the mandaps across the country has been ornamented with beautiful idols, showcasing the goddess in all her glory.
Bijoya Dashami is the special ceremony of reaffirming peace and good relations among people.
On this day, families visit each other to share sweetmeats. Married Hindu women put vermilion on each other's forehead on the occasion.
This year, the religious festival is being celebrated at over 31,000 puja mandaps throughout the country.
Devotees will bid farewell to the mother deity and her children - Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh - through the immersion of their idols in the water wishing Durga's return next year.
The five-day festival started on October 4 with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the Goddess Durga marking Sashthi.
Durga Puja, the annual Hindu festival also known as Sharadiya (autumnal) DurgaUtsab, is the worship of "Shakti" [divine force] embodied in goddess Durga.
It symbolises the battle between good and evil where the dark forces eventually succumb to the divine.