Asia’s Largest ‘Sikder Bari Durga Puja’ Draws Record Crowds in Bangladesh

Last Updated on October 26, 2023 11:25 am

Dhaka: In a grand celebration of faith and culture, Asia’s largest Durga Puja took place at Shikdar Bari Mandap in Bagerhat, Bangladesh. This magnificent event featured a staggering 501 idols and culminated with the immersion of these sacred figures in the nearby Bhola River.

The festive fervor began on Friday, October 20th, and drew throngs of domestic and foreign devotees, making this celebration a global spectacle. Shikdar Bari Mandir was transformed into a hub of spirituality, attracting visitors from all walks of life and various corners of the world, including India.

Local residents of the area were elated to see the return of the grand Durga Puja after the previous years’ subdued celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organizer, businessman and social worker Liton Shikder, initiated this year’s event with 501 unique idols, each representing different eras from mythology – Satya, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali.

The pièce de résistance was the 65-foot-long sleeping Kumbhakarna idol, which captivated the attention of all attendees. The organizers and locals proudly claim that this event stands as the largest of its kind in Asia, not only in terms of the number of idols but also in terms of its cultural significance.

Liton Shikder, the driving force behind this colossal celebration, expressed his motivation for hosting this event. He stated, “We organize exceptional events to inform people about Sanatan Dharma. This event is no longer my family event; it has become a social festival. The number of devotees and visitors coming here is constantly increasing, and we are trying our best to win the hearts of our devotees. Our festival culminated with the sacrifice of Maa Durga, and we look forward to organizing an even larger event next year.”

This tradition traces its roots back to 2010 when village doctor Dulal Shikdar organized a Durga Puja with 151 idols. Over the years, the number of idols has increased exponentially, and the 2019 celebration featured a remarkable 801 idols. Recognized as the largest Durga Puja mandap in South Asia by Hindu religious leaders and devotees, this event has become a testament to the enduring spirit of culture and faith.

As the 501 idols were immersed in the Bhola River, the emotional farewell left many devotees teary-eyed. This vibrant celebration of Durga Puja continues to symbolize the rich heritage and traditions that unite communities and bring people from diverse backgrounds together in celebration.

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