Hindus across Bangladesh are celebrating Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion that heralds the advent of Goddess Durga, today.
Considered as a ceremonial invocation of Goddess Durga, Mahalaya is observed a week prior to Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the Hindu community.
Hindus believe the earth prepares itself and welcomes the coming of the Goddess and her children, through the celebrations.
Durga Puja will begin on October 1 on the day of Maha Shashthi. Goddess Durga will come to the earth (Martyalok) riding an elephant (gaja) through the Maha Sashthi Puja this year.
On Mahalaya, the Mahanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee has arranged special programmes at Dhakeshwari Temple from 6am.
On this day, Hindus remember and pay homage to their deceased ancestors by performing a puja, and offering Brahmins clothes, food and sweets in their names.
This year there will be 32,168 Puja mandaps across the country.
Installation of CCTV cameras has been made compulsory at all puja mandaps ahead of Durga Puja to ensure security, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said.
To ensure security at the puja mandaps, additional forces of law enforcement agencies will be deployed as per necessary.
Besides, Durga Puja organisers have been told to deploy volunteers to ensure security. The authorities concerned have been asked to provide wristbands to volunteers that will help the police to identify them.