Kolkata: With only seven days left for Durga Puja, people of West Bengal today observed the auspicious occasion of Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of 'Debi Pakshya'.
The day started with lakhs of people paying obeisance to their forefathers on the banks of Ganga and early morning rendition of 'Mahisasura Mardini' (a collection of shlokas and songs dedicated to Goddess Durga) aired on All India Radio (AIR).
'Mahishasur Mardini' was first broadcast as a live programme on AIR in the early 1930s. Since then it has become a regular affair on Mahalaya mornings.
With the day marking the end of 'Pitri Pakshya', elders of the family paid homage to their ancestors by performing 'Tarpan', a ritual in which water is offered to the ancestors souls, on the banks of Ganga and temple premises.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished everybody on this occasion through a post on Facebook.