What brings you happiness on your face when someone talks about your hometown?
We Mungeri always feel great and proud while talking about our ancient culture and traditions. We do believe in our ancestors and their legacy too. Celebration of Durga Puja in the town is one of them.
Suddenly, last year incident hit my mind; while I started writing this one. Indeed, no one can forget this incident over a lifetime. We feel pain for Anurag Poddar who was allegedly killed by Munger cops in open firing amid devotees of Maa Durga. Let’s pay him a tribute.
Now where in India or the world, Durga puja is celebrated with such euphoria and zest. Durga Puja is not just a festival, it is about our ancient culture and traditions followed for more than 500 years. It is about unity and integrity. It is about togetherness, happiness and joy.
Unlike the Durga Puja in other places, Druga Puja in Munger is celebrated for 2 weeks. It starts on Mahalaya, according to the Hindu lunar calendar, Mahalaya is observed on Amavasya, the last day of Krishnapaksha, the dark fortnight, in the month of Ashwin. It is believed that Goddess Durga descends on Earth, her ‘paternal home’, on this day every year.
In our earlier blogs, we mentioned a lot about Badi Durga Mata of Munger. She is “the goddess of immense power” called Shree Shree 108 Badi Durga Maharani. The Badi Maa temple is permanently situated at Sadipur; it goes through an area connected by narrow streets. The other family members of Badi mata are Chhoti Durga, Badi kali and Chhoti kali are located in the same streets within a mile only. Near about devotees visit the temple from the 1st day, from Mahashasthi (6th day), the narrow street of Sadipur gets rushed with devotees from different nearby districts. Sadipur becomes the main attraction of the town.
The very famous attraction that is part of the Badi Durga Celebration are
- The offering of local prasad to Mata Temple
- Daily evening Aarti
- Nisha Puja
- Shobha Yatra of Mata on “Kahaar ” lifted by a group of people or devotees on the shoulders
- Meeting of Badi Durga Maa & Durga No:4 at Canara Bank road Junction
- Meeting of Badi & Chhoti Maa at Ambe chowk
- Aarti and Rangoli for welcoming the Maa idol at different a road Junction
- The most famous Maha Aarti at Bata chowk
- Aarti at Badi Mahavir temple and much more.
In the earlier blog, we have mentioned everything in detail. Do check from this link.
The goddess of immense power Badi Durga Maa has many traditional stories of the past, in which people say the deity has never been taken on any vehicle or pulling Rickshaw for Visharjan (immersion). People say that once there was a curfew in the town, the people or devotees were not allowed to take Shobha Yarta and the local administration tried Visharjan of Maa idol using a truck, but the maa idol did not even budge, later on, they called the “Kahaar ” for Visharjan.
How did myth become reality?
Myth became reality when the last year incident happen during Shobha Yatra of Badi Mata. Everything has happened in front of our eyes and even the whole country watch it. Due to Legislative Assembly polling 2020, the last year Durga Visharjan was shifted one day before, and forcibly the other idols were moved for immersion before Badi Durga, Maa. It had never happed that the other idol would go for Visharjan before the Visharjan of Badi Durga Maa. These circumstances made all the devotees in anger and they refused idols Visharjan.
A few minutes later, the fracas started when the police allegedly beat some persons who were carrying idols. The mob pelted stones on the cops, cops prompted lathi-charge on puja committee members as well as devotees. Suddenly, the cops where started bullet firing. The firing resulted in several casualties and one dead. After this incident, the city went into a blackout at midnight. Puja committee members and devotees evacuated the streets. It seems like some incident of Act of God.
No Puja committee members and devotees came back in the night after seeing such brutality and violence by cops. Cops tried to lift the idol on the truck for Viharjan, the Badi Maa idol did not even budge again. They tried several times so that they could complete the Visharjan as early as possible, but they were unsuccessful every time. The next morning (on the actual day of Visharjan) around 6:00 AM, puja committee members and devotees were requested by cops to taking the Badi Maa idol for Visharjan on Kahaar.
What I feel is “We must not disturb our ancestor’s culture and traditions because it always results in devastation”.
Keep safe and feel safe this Durga Puja🙏
Use Mask when you go for Darshan.
Jai Maa Durge 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏