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Durga Puja festivities in Manipur, Mizoram
Published on 26 Sep. 2009 11:49 PM IST
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Durga Puja was celebrated in the state with traditional gaiety and fervour. Today was an important day as Manipuris believe that Goddess Durga gives whatever boons were requested. Hundreds of people rushed in at Hiyangthang Lairembi temple, Kalimai mandir and other temples. Extraordinary security measures were taken up to avoid any untoward incident. Police stopped all vehicle and only pedestrians were allowed at Hiyangthang Lairembi to enter the temple premises. IThe Hindustani Samaj constructed a huge Pandal at Khwairamband market area and the Bengali Samaj also observed the day at Durga Mandir, Thangal bazar. Meanwhile, in Mizoram, the festival is gaining popularity, jumping from five Pujas to nine in a matter of few years. “Puja is now a new event on the Mizo calendar. And it is not limited to one community alone, but celebrated by all Christian tribal clans,” said a teacher. This year, Durga Puja in Aizawl will be held in nine enclaves. While the Bengalis take the lead in organising the biggest puja at Shakti Mandir in downtown Babutlang, the Nepalis of Mizoram hold Pujas in four places. Two more Pujas are organised in temples in Aizawl, while two more are being organised at 10 Battalion cantonment of the Assam Rifles in Khatla and by the Border Roads Task Force officials. Though the number of pujas may not be impressive, Mizoram does have a very long legacy. The first Durga Puja was organised in 1904 at Shakti Mandir by Bengalis who landed jobs in Mizoram as government officials. Aizawl then was a little hill station, inhabited by 5,000 people. Grandmas’ tales still include accounts of Mizos joining hands with Bengalis to ensure that not a thing was out of place in the traditional rituals.

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