President worships Durga at ancestral residence

President Pranab Mukherjee worshipped his family deity, Goddess Durga, at his ancestral home in West Bengal`s Birbhum district.

Miriti: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday worshipped his family deity, Goddess Durga, at his ancestral home here in West Bengal`s Birbhum district.

Mukherjee, clad in dhoti and kurta, arrived with wife Suvra at his Miriti residence from his elder sister Annapurna Banerjee`s home at Kirnahar, 3 km away, at around 8:30 this morning.

The `kalabou` was then taken out in a procession for a ritual bath, with Mukherjee, unlike in previous years of accompanying it to the canal, only walking up to the gate of the house.

The `kalabou` was thereafter taken by the President`s son, Abhijit, to the canal.

Mukherjee, as in previous years, chanted the `chandipath`, but in an enclosure inside the temple, in a departure from past years when he was fully visible.

The Saptami puja ended with the `arati` at around 1:40 PM.

During the `aarti`, Mukherjee came to the temple with a silk chaddar draped around his shoulders.

There was no restriction on villagers thronging the compound of the house, but passes were required for entering the temple and the house.

The lunch, which the Mukherjees provide for around 3,000 people, was also hosted as in other years in the backyard, but the guests were not allowed to go through the house and had to take a detour to reach the area.