The usual crowd of revellers was missing on the streets of Kolkata on 'Ashtami' -- which marks the third day of the five-day Durga puja festivities -- with the Calcutta High Court having declared all pandals 'no- entry zones', and rain playing spoilsport.
Durga Puja is celebrated over four days -- sashti, saptami, ashthami and navami which this year fall from October 22 to 24. On the fifth day, dashami, devotees bid adieu to the goddess and the idol is immersed.
Durga Ashtami is considered to be one of the most important days of Navratri. It begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja. On this day, all the nine forms of the goddess and young girls are worshipped on this day. This is known as Kumari puja.
Also known as Sharad Navratri, the occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil.
Amid low-key celebrations, Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan visited the popular Suruchi Sangha pandal.
She danced with the performers, played the dhak and performed aarti as well. Watch video.
Many big-ticket pandals, including Ekdalia Evergreen, Singhi Park, Ahiritola Sarbojonin, Tridhara Sammilani, Chetla Agroni, wore a forlorn look, as just a handful of organisers and locals were allowed to visit the marquees.
A motley group of people were, however, seen clicking photographs of the pandal from far, and indulging in street food, even as the organisers scrambled to ensure the decor at the open-air marquees did not get soggy during the drizzle.
The Calcutta High Court, in an order on Monday, declared community Durga Puja pandals as 'no-entry zones', allowing visitors to catch a glimpse of the marquees and idols from a distance of 10 metres for bigger pandals, and five metres for smaller ones.