Journey Through Bangladesh
A Tradition Spanning Six Decades
Magura's 62 years' traditional festival five-day long Katyani Puja ended Friday (November 23) with due solemnity, much enthusiasm and great devotion turning the whole Magura town into a spot of festivity.
This year, the event was observed with the slogan--Religion of respective, festival for all'.
Magura district town wore a festive look as large and decorated gates and arches were erected at the entrance of different mandaps and important landmark of the town.
Although Durga Puja is the greatest religious festival among the Bengali-speaking people of the Hindu community, Magura district is an exception where with the passage of time Katyani Puja has become the main religious festival where it is celebrated with more enthusiasm than anywhere else in the sub-continent. This Puja is celebrated every year after one month of the Durga Puja.
The idols of Katyani Puja are similar to that of Durga. But in addition an image of Lord Sree Krishna is also placed at the mandap during the observation of Katyani.
With the approach of Katyani Puja artisans, especially idol makers in Magura and adjoining districts every year get an additional opportunity of earning.
Above 300 artisans of Magura and adjoining districts Rajbari and Kushtia get engaged every year in making splendid looking idols at different puja mandaps, leaders of district Puja Celbration Cpmmittee informed.
“Every year we wait for the Katyani Puja as we not only get enhanced retainer here, we are proud also of working for Katyani as thousands of people from home and abroad visit our art works”, said Ashit Kumar Paul an idol maker who hailed from from Koya village under Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia distrct.
Ashit who had been working at the mandap at Natun bazaar area in the town with a contact of Tk 30 thousand talking to the The Daily Stara dded that he brought two other persons from his village to lend him help in making idols.
Binod Paul who is working at Chhanar-Batala mandap along with his helping hands also echoed the same sentiment and said that he came there from Belgachhi of Rajbari district with a contact of Tk 34 thousand.
Professor Mihir Lal Kuri the vice-president to the district puja celebration committee said, “Katyani puja festival, the largest and prime cultural heritage of Magura, overtime has turned into a point of convergence for all irrespective of their religions as they not only enjoy the event also cooperate to organise the traditional event”.
According to Hindu scriptures, during the 'Dapor Era' before appearing on earth Lord Shree Krishna had sent his parents along with other family members to the mortal world. The inhabitants of Vraja nourished voluntary religious observance to get Shree Krishna along with his father Basudev and mother Devokee as the son, friend, husband and god. The Gopbalas (milk maids) of the “Dapor Era” were the first ones to observe the Katyani Puja at the beginning of the Dewali (the Bengali months of Kartik and Agrahayan) along the banks of Jamuna. The idols they made were similar to “Devi Durga”.
It was Shatish Chandra, a rich man of Parnanduali area in Magura municipal area first started to observe this Katyani Puja at his courtyard about 60 years back. Since then this puja has become very popular within the community and has been celebrated with festivity for the past 25 years where apart from different districts of the country enthusiastic spectators from even India and Nepal also assemble during this festival.
Like every a fair has also been arranged year on the occasion of Katyani that also has, overtime, turned into a centre for cultural exchange and ideal place for exhibiting products of different districts. The fair is expected to be continued for one month.
(R) thedailystar.net 2012