Bhubaneswar/ Cuttack: The 5-day long Dussehra festival drew to a close today with the idol immersion of Goddess Durga which was marked by fervor and revelry across the State.
As the twin cities of Cuttak and Bhubaneswar bid adieu to Goddess Durga, a carnival-like atmosphere gripped the cities during the immersion ceremony.
An eclectic mix of dance and music of conch and cymbals ushered the goddess Durga out of the Pandals on to streets leading to the immersion ponds while a sea of devotees marched alongside the idols.
In Cuttack, the immersion ceremony began as early as 8 AM today. Ahead of the procession, a tribute was paid to the martyrs of the Uri terrorist attacks. The idols are being taken through College Chhak, Mangalabag, Buxi Bazaar and Choudhuri Bazaar to Devigada Ghat. With 156 idols from across the city, the immersion ceremony will continue throughout the night.
In the capital city, the idols were taken for immersion amid fanfare. All 172 idols congregated at Sahid Nagar, Nayapalli and Chandrasekharpur immersion committee grounds from where the idols were taken for immersion in the temporary ponds at Kuakhai River, Tankapani Road and Daya River.
With about 300 Durga idols ready for immersion after the five-day long celebration, the twin city Commissionerate police have made elaborate security arrangements by deploying above 76 platoons of force in the twin cities.
While as many as 46 platoons (1 platoon comprises 30 personnel) force have been deployed in Cuttack, 30 platoons of personnel have been deployed in Bhubaneswar.
“Elaborate arrangements have been made for smooth passage of ‘Bhasani Utsav’. All the puja committees in Bhubaneswar have been instructed to finish the immersion of idols by midnight,” Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said.
At least 12 senior police officers including five SP rank officers are monitoring security arrangement.
Members of Quick Action Team (QAT), Special Operation Group (SOG), anti-terror squad and plain-clothed personnel were also deployed to deal with any eventuality, police said.
The puja pandal organisers have been instructed to minimise sound level of the DJs below 85 decibel.
In Cuttack, the district administration has made arrangement for immersion of idols in artificial ponds at Devigada on the bank of Kathajodi river.
The idol immersion procession has already started since 8 am.
Apart from QAT and Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel, striking force are also deployed besides 46 platoons of police force in the Millennium city.
In Rourkela, while 95 idols out of 104 were immersed today, the immersion of the remaining idols has been scheduled for Friday.