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Residents ready to soak in puja spirit

Patna, Oct. 20: The excitement, the fanfare and the beats of dhaaks have a story to tell — Durga Puja has started, heralding a long festive season ahead.

The last-minute shopping frenzy at malls and make-shift stalls amid frantic phone calls and messages to finalise the hang-out plans are a sure indication that all roads will lead to the pandals during the next four days. The capital is set to witness the festivities from tomorrow till Vijaya Dashami, the final day of Durga Puja.

The Telegraph visited various parts in the heart of the city to capture people’s pulse on the eve of the Puja. And the scenario was same almost everywhere. People were seen ticking off their shopping lists at various markets. Thoroughfares spilled over with shoppers and snarls put the brakes on thousands of vehicles trying to manouvere ways through the busy Hathua Market, Bakarganj, Kadamkuan and Bhattacharya Road areas.

Pandals will be thrown open tomorrow for public viewing and lakhs of devotees will throng to see the idols. However, the pran pratistha (the official unveiling of the idols) has been not been conducted at most of the pandals.

“Every year, the excitement among the devotees increases. They expect something new, something fresh. That is the reason we have made a replica of the famous Murugan temple of Chennai,” said Saurabh Ghosh, the secretary of R-Block Water Tower Durga Puja Samiti.

At Raja Bazar’s Vrindavan Prem Mandir pandal, visitors were simply awed by the structure. “This is something unique and I have never seen such a design. It looks attractive and fancy as well,” said Ritesh Singh, a resident of Jagdeo Path.

Special arrangements have also been made for children to enjoy the occasion. Several swings have been put up on the stretch of Bailey Road. However, it would be wise to use two-wheelers, as most roads would be crowded and several places have been barricaded to ensure a smooth flow of vehicles and visitors. To avoid traffic jam, devotees are being advised to follow instruction of the traffic police.

Navyuvak Sangh Shree Durga Puja Samiti, a popular puja in the capital, attracts a large number of people owing to its location in the heart of the city. “As soon as we complete the pran pratistha, hundreds would throng the pandal to have the first look,” said Sanjeev Prasad Toni, the president of the samiti.

Areas like Raja Bazar, Jagdeo Path, Ashiana Mor, Khajpura, Sheikhpura, Boring Road, East Boring Canal Road, Anand Puri, Bengali Akhara, Station Road, Kali Bari in Gardanibagh, Nala Road, Kadamkuan, Patna City, Tripolia and Choti Patan Devi Temple would be the most crowded places for the next four days.