The five-day Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, ended yesterday with immersion of Devi Durga.
The annual festival began on September 26 with the incarnation (Bodhon) of the goddess Durga on the day of Maha Shashti at temples across the country.
Maha Saptami puja was observed on Wednesday, Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja and Sandhi Puja on Thursday and Maha Nabami Puja on Friday.
As many as 30,077 permanent and temporary puja mandaps (makeshift temples), including 231 in the capital, were set up across the country this year.
Bijoya Dashami, marking the victory of good over evil, is celebrated on the 10th day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the Bikram Sambat calendar month of Ashwin, as per Hindu tradition.
The government provided tight security around the puja mandaps. Plainclothes and uniformed policemen kept vigil in and around the mandaps to avoid any law and order problem.
Talking to BSS, some Hindu devotees yesterday said Bangladesh has set an instance of communal harmony as people of all Hindu faiths have been observing Durga Puja freely for long.
A puja udjapan committee member said thousands of devout Hindus joined colourful processions on city streets as the idols of goddess Durga were being carried to Waiseghat point of the Buriganga in the evening.
The main traditional puja procession, arranged by Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Udjapan Committee, started from Dhakeshwari Temple at 4:00pm and ended at Sadarghat on the banks of the Buriganga.
Before removing Durga's idols from the altar of mandaps for immersion, Hindu devotees danced and sang “kirton” expressing their deep emotional pathos as "Durga Maa" was leaving all of her sons and daughters for a year.
DN Chatterjee, president of Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Udjapan Committee, and Shyamal Kumar Roy, general secretary, thanked the prime minister, law enforcement agencies and journalists for extending cooperation with devotees in holding the puja peacefully.
In the morning yesterday, Dashami Bihit Puja was held at different puja mandaps.
The day was a public holiday.
On the occasion of Durga Puja, President Abdul Hamid hosted a reception at the Bangabhaban for the members of the Hindu community.
Different socio-cultural organisations of the Hindu community as well as management committees of temples arranged blood donation programmes and distributed clothes among the poor to mark the festival.
Reports from Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, and Rangpur divisional cities as well as other district towns said Hindu devotees immersed idols of goddess Durga peacefully.
Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels and radio stations aired special programmes, highlighting the significance of the day.