Dussehra or Vijayadashami is celebrated differently in various parts of the country. It marks the end of the nine-day long festival of Navratras. In Northern India, Ramlila is being played out across the country for ten days and on the last day effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnada are burnt with fireworks, marking the destruction of evil.
And in the eastern part of the country it is remembered as the slaying of Mahisasura - the demon in disguised as buffalo - by Goddess Durga.
Devotees in West Bengal today, bade teary farewell to Goddess Durga on 'Bijoya Dahasmi' as she went back to her abode in Kailash after her five-day-long annual sojourn along with her four children to her maternal home.
Following the Dashami rituals, the idols of Goddess Durga and her children were taken from beautifully decorated pandals and households for immersion in rivers and other water bodies.
As part of the Bijoya Dahasmi rituals, women pay their obeisance to the goddess with betel leaves, betel nuts, turmeric and bael leaves, known as 'Debi Baran' and urge her to come back next year.
Married woman also apply vermilion, popularly known as sindur on Goddess Durga's forehead and feet. Later, the women indulge in 'Sindur Khela' wherein they apply sindur to the married woman around them.
Idols in the city were taken in processions that included bands, colourfully decorated tableaus and people dancing to the beats of dhak, the traditional drum associated with Durga Puja, to the banks of river Hooghly for immersion.
The immersions will continue after midnight too, with most of the idols being taken to Babughat area on the bank of the Hooghly. Similar rituals are witnessed all over state with idols taken for immersion to river banks or other large water bodies.
On the banks of river Icchamati on the Indo-Bangladesh border at Taki in North 24 Parganas district, the idols are brought on boats from both sides of the border and are immersed in the river.
The sight of the culturally similar people on both sides of the border together going through the rituals of immersion of the idols with equal fervour is a visual delight and is witnessed by thousands of tourists coming from various places.
People from different parts of the society and from all age groups, keeping aside all worries and monotonous daily chores, participated in the almost week-long extravaganza, which is described as the largest community festival in the world by the West Bengal Tourism.
Durga Puja festivities comprise good food, merriment, night-long pandal hopping and an escape from the daily routine, which will all be missed along with the going back of Goddess Durga with her four children - Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh, till the next year's 'Sharad Utsav'.