Kumar Rajiv Nayan

Ara : Thousands of devotees thronged the Puja pandals at Ara seeking blessings of Maha Gauri, the eight form of Goddess Durga, on the Mahaashtami day of Navaratra on September 28, 2017.

With the opening of eyes ( pat) of Maa Durga on September 27 evening on Wednesday, even a blistering heat could not deter the spirit of the devotees particularly women and girls from visting around 400 puja pandals in Bhojpur district on September 28. Traditional rituals marked the puja.

The roads at Ara town remained swarmed with young and old alike almost throughout the day though the rush increased in the evening with people enjoying with family and friends at the roadside eateries. “Everyday devotees visit Maa Aranya Devi temple at Ara with their ‘mannats’, ” said Prabhakar Mishra, a priest at the temple.

The slight September nip in the air ushered in just the right atmosphere for the Puja celebrations. Devotees made a beeline for catching a glimpse of Maa Durga’s grandeur at Mahavir Tola, Nawada, Katira, Pakari, New Policeline, Dhobighatawa, Old Policeline, Mir Ganj, Mahadeva Sheesh Mahal Chowk pandals and D T Road. The Nala road crossing and K G Road area also remained heavily crowded.

“Over the last few days, I have been reading about various attractions of different Puja pandals in the newspapers. So, I decided to take my family out to show them a few on September 28,” said a serviceman, Ram Kumar, a resident of D T Road.

With sponsors contributing fund for the celebrations, the decorations outside the pandals appeared to be more expensive than last year. Beautiful arch patterns, colourful rolex and LED lights decked up the paths leading to the pandals.

“My daughter insisted on having gol-gappas and would just not accept my pleas that they were not hygienic. I had to give in,” said Birendra Dubey of Club Road who was moving around the pandals with his son and daughter. Auto drivers also raked in the moolah with many people ‘reserving’ the vehicles to move around the city with their families. Temporary stalls selling puja materials like ‘Mata ki chunari’ and flowers are also doing brisk business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *