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Millions throng pandals on Mahashtami

Press Trust Of India  |  Kolkata 

Millions of people today thronged puja pandals across the state and chanted hymns on the occasion of Mahashtami, the second day of the four-day Durga puja.

Pandal-hopping through the evening and night, devotees were seen offering prayers.

In the metropolis, colourfully lit pandals with various themes ranging from global warming to Kashmir and even Germany, attracted people from all walks of life.

The weather remained mainly dry except for one or two sharp showers in the southern and northern parts of the city, but it failed to dampen the spirits of the people who came out in droves to visit them.

At Belur Math on the banks of Ganga in adjacent Howrah district, 'Kumari Puja' was held as per the custom started by Ramakrishna Paramahansha in the late 19th century.

The puja, offered to a young girl as the mother Goddess by the Ramakrishna Mission monks, was watched by thousands of devotees before partaking the mahaprasad.

Traffic snarls were seen at some places in the city, even as the personnel of Kolkata Police did their best to control the surging crowd towards the evening.

Eateries, whether star-rated or roadside, did great business with people thronging these to have their food of choice, from Chinese, Thai to Tandoori or Bengali cuisine.

People queued up patiently outside restaurants to have their fill as they did to enter the prize winning pandals, whether at Kasba or Behala in the South to Ultadanga, Shyambazar and Dumdum in the north of the city, making the most of the festive season.

First Published: Wed, October 05 2011. 00:06 IST