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Durga Puja: Rain fails to dampen festive spirit as West Bengal celebrates 'Navami'

Kolkata: Intermittent rains on Monday afternoon failed to dampen the spirits as revellers in large numbers poured into the streets of the cities and towns in West Bengal for visiting the Durga Puja pandals on ‘Navami’, a day before the festivities come to an end.

Long queues were seen outside the well-known pandals in Kolkata, Siliguri, Howrah, Asansol, Durgapur and Kalyani.

“Unlike the last couple of days, the crowd was less in the afternoon as it rained. But, as the rains stopped in the evening, the number of people increased,” said Sandipan Banerjee of the Behala Notun Dal club in south Kolkata that built a pandal with ‘phuchkas’.

Santosh Mitra Square in Sealdah, which built its pandal resembling the Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya, continued to draw lakhs of people, with the waiting time for entering the ground crossing two hours.

“Come rain or sunshine, people will try to make the most of the four days, and I don’t want to let go a single moment,” said Sunetra Bagchi, who was accompanied by five friends, at the Baghbazar Sarbojonin puja pandal.

Tallah Prattay, Tridhara, Chetla Agrani, Ekdalia Evergreen, Jodhpur Park and Bosepukur Sitala Mandir also continued to see large gatherings.

Community feasts and cultural functions were also held in many areas and apartment complexes.

“Everyone has been waiting for this day for months, so we will go ahead with the plan of cultural programmes despite rains. Not a single resident leaves the area during these five days,” said Ruchira Banerjee of the Naktala Nabapally Sarbojonin Durga Puja Committee.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted the people of the state on the occasion of ‘Navami’.

Leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP also extended ‘Navami’ greetings.

In its forecast, the weather department said that light to moderate rains are likely in Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah and Kolkata also on Tuesday, which is Bijoya Dashami.

(Published 23 October 2023, 19:25 IST)

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