Durga Puja in Bagerhat
Bagerhat’s Durga Puja attraction: 151 idols in one mandap
Durga Puja is a major festival in Muslim-majority Bangladesh where close to 8 percent of more than 160 million people are Hindu. Despite communal tensions in recent years during the largest festival of the Hindu community, participation of people from different faiths has given the celebration a unique character. This year, a major draw in Bagerhat district is the largest number of idols at a single puja mandap. Also read: Disappointment in Bagerhat as Shikdar Bari avoids large-scale Durga Puja celebration for third year running Organisers say a total of 151 idols of different deities have found their place, depicting the stories of Hindu epics – Ramayan and Mahabharat – at the Chulkathi Banikpara Puja Mandap in Bagerhat’s Sadar upazila. The display is attracting not only Hindus but also people from other communities to the Banikpara Mandap to have glimpses of the idols. Celebration of Durga Puja began at the Banikpara Mandap in 2001 in a small way. But in 2005, a massive celebration was held with 101 idols.