Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and heralds 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 Tume Jago”. This is done through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs.
Come October, and Hindus all over the world get enthused in festive fervor. Come “Mahalaya” and Katkis get busy to complete the final preparations for their greatest festival – Durga Puja.
Since the early 1930s, Mahalaya has come to associate itself with an early morning radio program called “Mahisasura Mardini” or “The Annihilation of the Demon.”The program has also been translated into Hindi set to similar orchestration and is broadcast at the same time for a pan-Indian audience.This program has almost become synonymous with Mahalaya. For nearly six decades now, the whole of Bengal community here rises up in the chilly pre dawn hours, 4 am to be precise, of the Mahalaya day to tune in to the “Mahisasura Mardini” broadcast.