Due to ‘Adhik Maas’ i.e. extra month in the Hindu calendar that keeps the lunar and solar calendars aligned, this year ‘Durgaotsav’ will start from October 17. Every year, the entire Bengali community looks forward to this festival and grand celebrations are seen in Indore.
However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Bengali club, Navlakha has decided that the grand idol of goddess Durga will not be established this year.
However, the festival will be celebrated at home this year. The community will keep the tradition and festive celebration alive by worshipping the goddess at home with Ghatasthapana, as shared by Bengali committee chairman Jayant Nath Choudhary.
He added that Ghatasthapana is a significant ritual in Navratri celebrations as Ghata or Kalash or the sacred pot is the major object of worship during Navratri.
Bengali community will organize Ghatasthapana in Navratri on October 22, i.e. on the day of Shashthi.
“In Durgaotsav pandals in the city, instead of the usual idol a photograph of goddess Durga will be placed behind the Kalash,” Ravishankar Raichoudhary, committee convenor, said.
He added that unlike every year, there will be no fair, no communal meals, no prasad distribution, and no stalls will be set up.
“The tradition of priests coming from Kolkata for the festival worship will be broken for the first time,” Ravi Nandi, committee secretary, said.
He added that only 50 people will be allowed to attend the festivities at pandal at a time. Further, the community has sent across norms instructing members to avoid buying anything from the market for worship.
This is bound to further slow-down businesses in the city.
Offering of 9 types of leaves
As shared by Dr Vishal Bhattacharya, on the day of Shashthi, community members will invoke the goddess under the Bilva Patra (Bael) tree. “Leaves of nine celestial trees will be collected and offered to the goddess as a part of worship,” he said.
Leaves of banana, Bilva, turmeric, jayanti, avar, ashoka, paddy, mankoshu and aparajita trees are considered to be the abode of the goddess, Bhattarcharya explained.
Special worship will be organised on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. The festival will conclude on October 26, i.e. on Dashami.