KOLKATA: Devotees on Friday thronged puja pandals across the state to offer obeisance to Goddess Durga as part of the auspicious Mahastami day, the second of the four-day festival.

With sky clearing up after showers considerably dampened celebrations on Thursday, revellers chanted hymns of the Goddess as lakhs of people from near and afar made a beeline at pandals to offer anjali (prayer).

The whole city virtually turned into a walk-in art gallery as colourfully illuminated pandals , housing idols of the Goddess, invoked the spirit of merriment. Each pandal is a tribute to the consummate skill of the artisans and artistry — both in terms of innovation in pandal -making and lighting.

At Belur Math on the banks of Ganga in neighbouring Howrah district, ‘Kumari Puja’ was held as per the custom — started by Ramakrishna Paramahansha in the late 19th century.

The puja , offered to a young girl as the mother Goddess by the Ramakrishna Mission monks, was watched by thousands of devotees at the Math before partaking of the mahaprasad .

People spent time with friends and relatives during the day and visited award-winning pandals like the Suruchi Sangha in New Alipore and Badamtala in the south of the city.

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