Kolkata: Festivities and long queues at pandals on `Mahasaptami` on Sunday marked the beginning of the four-day Durga Pujas, the biggest festival in West Bengal.
With an excellent weather helping matters, people went out to beautifully decorated and innovatively lit puja pandals to see the goddess in all her splendour during her four-day sojourn on Earth.
The day began with puja organisers taking out `kalabou` (nabapatrika) for a ritual bath at the river Hooghly and nearest water bodies, as priests made arrangements for the day`s worship of the goddess and her family.
Adding to the festive spirit, several community puja organisers hosted lunch for the neighbourhood featuring a variety of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.
Though revellers prefer to visit pandals during the night to see the illumination, a large number of them took advantage of the clear skies to hang around the better-known community puja shamianas and admire on the decor.
Personnel of the Kolkata Police, along with those of the city civic body here, were deployed in strength near the big community pujas and busy intersections to ensure smooth flow of traffic.