Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and announces the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It's a kind of invocation or invitation to the mother goddess to descend on earth - "Jago Tumi Jago". This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs.
Mahalaya is the day when many throng to the banks of river Ganga, to offer prayers to their dead relatives and forefathers. The ritual is known as 'Torpon'.

One man who'll always be remembered for making Mahalaya memorable in every Bengali household is Birendra Krishna Bhadra, the magical voice behind the "Mahisasura Mardini." The legendary narrator recites the holy verses and tells the story of the descent of Durga to earth, in his inimitable style.

In a sonorous, reverberating voice Birendra Bhadra renders the Mahalaya recital for two thrilling hours, mesmerizing every household with the divine aura of his narration, as the Bengalis submerge their souls in quiet moments of prayer.

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