Diwali and Kali Puja are being celebrated across West Bengal with gaiety and fervour on Monday, though intermittent rain and high winds dampened the festive spirit to an extent.
People decorated their houses with ‘diyas’ (earthen lamps) candles and electrical lamps to celebrate the festival of lights.
A rush was witnessed at the city's Kalighat temple, close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence, in the morning with the shrine management trying to dissuade people from huddling together on the premises.
There was a long queue of worshippers at Dakshineswar Kali temple in the morning. As the day progressed, the crowd got bigger. Devotees also stood in long queues at Tarapith, Kalyaneswari, and Kankalitala Kali temples in the state to seek the blessings of the goddess.
This was witnessed after a gap of two years since coronavirus curbs were in place during the festive season in 2020 and 2021. Decorated puja pandals also created a festive spirit across the state.
Intermittent showers since morning forced people to remain indoors as most Kolkata streets wore a deserted look on a festive evening which would normally have attracted tens of thousands to visit marquees with idols of Goddess Kali and see the dazzling illumination.
The chief minister wished everyone on the occasion of Kali Puja and Diwali. "I extend my heartfelt greetings on the pious day of Kali Puja and Deepavali. May Maa Kali give us all the strength to fight the forces of evil. I pray that the festival of lights expels darkness from all our lives to usher in joy and happiness," she tweeted.
Apart from community pandals, Kali Puja is also performed in houses.
Like every year, Kali Puja was organised at the chief minister’s residence in the Kalighat area of south Kolkata. Governor La Ganesan paid a visit to Banerjee's residence and offered his prayers to Goddess Kali.
The Calcutta High Court earlier this month had directed that no fireworks other than green crackers bearing QR codes would be imported and sold in West Bengal.
Following the court order, the West Bengal environment department has announced that it will allow only green fireworks during the Kali Puja as directed by Court and will follow the recommendations of two central bodies on the issue. Police personnel was seen in large numbers on the streets of the city and in other towns of the state to ensure compliance with the court orders.
(With PTI Inputs)