Vijayadashami 2017: Significance and importance of this auspicious day

The last day of the 10-day-long Durga Puja festival culminates with the immersion of the Durga murti, following a grand procession. In West Bengal, Assam and Odisha, Durga Puja is celebrated for five days through the nine-day-long Navaratri, and the last day is known as `Vijayadashami` or Durga Visarjan.

A teary farewell follows every year, when the decorated idol of Maa Durga along with idols of her children Ganesh, Kartikeya, Lakshmi and Saraswati, are immersed in a river or a lake so that she can unite with Lord Shiva in the Himalayas.

People dance and shout `Bolo Durga Mai Ki Jai` during the procession that ends with ‘visarjan’. With a heavy heart people bid farewell to Maa Durga and this is quite an overwhelming experience for any onlooker.

The entire city that stands together during the festive occasion, is suddenly ripped off of all the decorations and the grand show that it puts up prior to the visarjan. The feeling is similar when a daughter leaves her native home, post marriage and the atmosphere suddenly transforms to one that of gloom. Devotees give Durga Maa a final farewell with the hope that she will return next year and bless her followers.

In almost all cities of eastern India, Durga Puja celebrations can be compared to that of a street carnival. Traffic literally comes to a standstill. Devotees spend the five days in pandal hopping, bringing home different types of idols, and visiting exuberant make-shift temples with families and friends. The atmosphere in towns or cities transforms is that of a long, extravagant carnival. Security is beefed up for the puja and people have to walk long distances to reach their pandal.

Such is the importance of this festival that people break all barriers and boundaries, irrespective of caste and creed, to come together as one, enjoy the beauty and pay their reverence to their Durga Maa.

On Vijayadashami, before the visarjan is carried out, a number of other rituals are observed, which are pivotal to this day. Houses and shops are all decked up with garlands made of marigold and mango leaves. On the day of visarjan, books, tools and pens are placed before the feet of Durga murti. Vehicles are also decorated with flowers, symbolising the good wishes of the Goddess. All this is done to seek blessings for the coming year.
The last day of the Navaratri festival – Vijayadashami – is considered auspicious to start a new venture.

In Kerala Puja Veppu ceremony is performed on the day of Durgashtami. All kinds of study and work are given-up on this day and books are worshipped. On the day of Mahanavami, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped. On the day of Vijaya Dashami, it is break-up time for the Pooja and work and study are again restarted.


Vidyarambham is an important Hindu tradition that is observed on the ‘Vijayadashami’ day during the Malayalam month of ‘Kanni’. This ceremony is also known as ‘Ezhuthiniruthu’ in the southern states of India like Karnataka and Kerala. In this ritual young children aged between 3-5 years are introduced to the world of knowledge, music, dance and some forms of folk arts.

The observance of Vidyarambham marks the final and tenth day of the Navratri celebrations and is considered to be an auspicious day for initiating the learning process, especially in young children. This ceremony is performed in temples and even few households. The process of initiation and learning is closely linked to the ‘Ayudha Puja’ ritual.

According to the beliefs, it is on the day of Vidyarambham that Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and wisdom, and Gurus or teachers should be presented with ‘Gurudakshina’ as a token for Thanksgiving. Vidyarambham ceremony is very renowned in the ‘Thunchan Parambu Temple’ in Kerala and ‘Kollur Mookambika Temple’ in Karnataka.



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