With the breeze of autumn, here comes the feel of enthusiasm. It is that time of the year, when it doesn’t matter if you are a Bengali, Gujarathi, Assamese, or from any other community, or staying at any part of India. Let your heart be filled with happiness and enthusiasm, because its Durga Maa’s festival coming soon.
Durga puja is considered as one of the most significant festivals in India. The celebration is made with full fervor and enthusiasm in all corners of India. It is a very famous Hindu festival, which is celebrated with great pomp and show. States like West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha and Bihar celebrates it in a grand manner. The festival is celebrated for ten days and is also known as Navratri. It is celebrated in the month of Ashwin. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over the evil, as Goddess Durga killed the demon named as Mahishasur. This year, according to the dharmic calendar, the Navratri will begin from 6th of October and will end on 15th of October 2021.
Silchar is a city of love. It is considered as one of the most peace-loving regions in Northeast. The former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, honored Silchar with the moniker “Island of Peace”. However, as the time of Durga Puja is approaching, the city is turning more and more energetic. 6th of October, the show of Silchar Mahalaya will be seen at the roads, bridges and tea stalls, early in the morning. Mahalaya is celebrated at the first day of the Durga puja festival, that is observed in the states of Karnataka, Odisha, Assam, Tripura and West Bengal.
The Hindu mythology says that on the day of Mahalaya, Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswar created Goddess Durga, in order to put an end to evil done by the demon king Mahishasura, as the devtas were unable to kill him. It is believed that, the Goddess Durga started her journey from Kailash to the Earth on this day, to visit her paternal home and to kill the demon. Thus, this day is celebrated as the arrival of Goddess Durga to the Earth with her ultimate power. According to saying, Goddess Durga travels using various vehicles such as palanquin, boat, elephant, horse etc. and her vehicle keeps on changing every year.
How does Silchar Mahalaya look like?
Mahalaya is important, as it is the end day of Pitru Paksha Shraddha and the first day of Navratri. Pitru Paksha is a period, used to worship the ancestors and offer them prayers. On this day, the devotees remember their forefathers through performing tarpan or shraddha. Silchar’s Mahalaya gets celebrated in a very unique manner.
Apart from practicing various rituals, like offering a tarpan, remembering the ancestors, and establishing the idol of Durga Maa in houses and pandals, or praying the Goddess, people of Silchar wake up early morning and head towards the Sadarghat bridge in groups. Some prefer going for a walk in the cool autumn morning, where as some prefer going for a ride instead.
The huge gathering at the Sadarghat bridge is what explains the Silchar Mahalaya. The mesmerising view of the sunrise feels extra special on the day of Mahalaya. Later, the gathering gets spread in to various early morning tea stall, where one can find groups of people enjoying their morning tea along with some gossip and fresh air. For Silchar, Mahalaya is very important. Every year people gather with great enthusiasm and once the day is done, they then wait for the next year’s Mahalaya to come. In short, to Silchar, Mahalaya means, worshipping the goddess, paying homage to the ancestors, reunion with friends, morning walk, feeling the breeze, enjoying the morning, Sadarghat bridge, morning tea, sunrise, Barak river and gossip.
For the people of Silchar who are waiting for Mahalaya, this year Mahalaya will start from 6th October, 2021. Silchar’s Mahalaya is expected to look the same again, but this time, the people might try to practice the new normal.
Please do maintain all the COVID protocols and avoid gatherings in big number. Stay safe, enjoy safe.
Also read: COVID Guidelines for Silchar Durga Puja 2021