Kolkata: ‘Mahashtami’, considered the most auspicious of the four-day Durga Puja, was ushered in today with ‘pushpanjali’ – offering of flower – to the Goddess.
The weather was sultry in the morning, and heavy rain in late afternoon lashed a few parts of the city and in districts of North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly and Purba Burdwan, bringing down the temperature.
The shower, however, failed to dampen the festive spirit of the people who continued to visit puja pandals.
At Ramakrishna Math and Mission at Belur in adjacent Howrah district, ‘Kumari Puja’ was held as per custom started by Ramakrishna Paramahansha in the late 19th century.
The puja, offered to a little girl as the mother goddess by the monks, was watched by thousands of devotees before partaking of ‘mahaprasad’.
The ceremony was streamed live on the website of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.
Lakhs of people today thronged puja pandals across the state on Mahashtami, the second day of the four-day Durga puja.