Posted by Vishva News Reporter on October 20, 2004

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nvraaTRii 2004 GOES IT

DuARgaa puujaa
OCTOBER 19 TO 23, 2004


KOLKATA, INDIA, October 18, 2004:

If you are away from home in a foreign land and missing the Durga Puja festivities, don't lose heart.

Instead, get to a computer and connect to the Internet to find Goddess Durga with her entire ensemble waiting for you.

Keeping in mind the millions of lonely and homesick Bengali hearts, who may be thousands of miles away from home, an IT company in West Bengal has arranged to webcast the Durga Puja festivities. On the company's website, DURGA PUJA, (click on the red hilite name) one can get to see not only the various community festivities, but also offer homage to the Deities.

Please click on the next line to continue to enjoy this year's nvraaTRii in the current times of information technology and internet which empowers you to enjoy veDik festivals no matter where you are in the world.....

"There are millions of people across the globe who can't make it home for Durga Puja, and so miss it. It's our effort to take Goddess Durga and their home ambience to them," said Tanmoy Goswami of Techno Developers' Group.

The website, which Goswami claims is gaining in popularity with NRIs in North America and Europe, will beam pictures of various community marquees where clay icons of the Deities are worshipped.

"The idea is to give our visitors a snapshot of what is happening in West Bengal in Durga Puja," Goswami said.

The website would also webcast the elaborate rituals involved in worshipping Goddess Durga and worshipers can offer homage by clicking on the site.

 "One can watch the prayer ritual called pushpanjali (flower offerings) as it is performed, complete with the chanting of the religious hymns. That way, one could also offer ones homage and prayers," Goswami said.

The five-day festival that celebrates 10-armed Hindu Goddess Durga's slaying of demon king Mahishasur, marking the victory of good over evil, begins October 19.

The Deities are worshipped inside ingeniously and aesthetically decorated temporary marquees, colloquially called pandals, which are visited by millions of merrymakers dressed in their best.

The autumn festival,  for Bengalis in terms of festivity and revelry, will end October 23 with the immersion of the idols of Durga, her four children - Laxmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartik - and the demon king.




From the web site: DURGA PUJA 2004

When the sky turns sun-shot blue after the rains, when roses begin to turn red from white… that’s when you begin preparing for days of religious festivity – the Durga Puja. Check it out in some other directions, too…

Durga Puja hinges around Mahalaya day, a week before the actual celebrations begin.

It was on this day that goddess Durga was assigned the task of eliminating evil, in the shape of the demon Mahisasura.

Did you know that goddess Durga was traditionally worshipped during the Basanti puja in March?

The present time of the puja is said to have been started by Lord Rama, who wanted to invoke the blessings of Durga before his war with Ravana. He performed the Durga Puja despite the time of year not being right. That’s why the puja is known as Akal Bodhon, or untimely invocation.

Durga loves best the rose which changes colour from white to pink to red during the single day, and the more common red-stalked white parijat flowers. There has also been tradition of offering 108 lotuses during daily puja, which goes on for five days ending with the immersion of Dussehra.

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With the onset 'Debi Paksha' ( holy fortnight devoted to female Hindu deities) from thursday morning Tripura is all set for its greatest religious festival of the year , 'Durga Puja'. As in the previous years, the people of the state cutting across ethnic and religious identities continue to put finishing touches to the preparation for traditional household as well as community pujas . The state's  exotic landscape dotted with an abundance of autumnal catkin and fragrant white jasmine flowers topped by nightful of dews have already created the traditional pre-puja ambience with garment shops bristling with chirping customers . As always, people of  Tripura-spurred by heartening weather forecasts and relative lack of apprehension over militant violence-will leave aside their  mundane day-to-day worries to make the most of 'Durga Puja' festivities for four days . Even as people prepare to celebrate the festival's correspondent Ms Ruchira Datta moved around the capital  town to take stock of the pre-puja profile of Agartala in terms of community pujas.  
Apart from the clubs organising high-budget spectacular pujas, altogether 265 community pujas are being organized this year . Police sources said that the number of community pujas might go up a little bit . A source of relief for the common people is that so far no information on banned militants preparing to disrupt festivities in the hilly interiors has poured in . But the security set-up in the state is leaving nothing to chance as the capital town will be divided into twenty zones with one police officer supervising security measures in each . Altogether ten major drop-gates to check and monitor vehicles entering the town will be set up and as many as fifteen mobile vans and six bike-borne police officials will be in charge of fire-fighting measures . 'We are also posting plainclothes security man who will disperse in the crowd to monitor things from close range' said
Mr Nityananda Debnath , DSP (central). He ruled out any major trouble during the puja days and said that close-circuit cameras  will be operational during four days of puja to keep close vigil on crowd movement and activities.  The weathermen have also predicted fine weather conditions on all four days of festivities to boost up the morale of the people.


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