Navratri, the whole India tunes itself to the nine-night celebration in honour of Goddess Durga. Hence, chanting of mantras and rendition of bhajans for the nine consecutive days follows.
However, the different state follows different traditions. Be it from the ‘Jai Mata Di’ Slogans raised from the heights of Kashmir to the Golu celebrations in Kanyakumari. The sounds of bells echoing from Varanasi Ghats to the sounds of Dhaks (drums) in West Bengal. In addition, the Garbha Dance of Gujarat to the Dandiya of Vrindawan, Navratri has all of it.
So, this Navratri plans your trip to the desired destination to get the best experience. Let us have a look, how India celebrates these nine days differently in a different colour.
Navratri celebrations differently in different parts of India
The Garbha of Gujarat
Gujarat celebrates Navratri where people worship Maa Durga and fasts for nine days. In the evening, a large number of people gather in community grounds. The whole place is profound with sounds of dhol, dandiya sticks. They dance on traditional beats and devotional songs. People from all over the world travel to perform the famous Dandiya Raas. All dressed in colourful traditional costumes and dancing on the tunes. Earthen pots with diyas lit up which symbolizes the source of life. Even the devotees perform Aarati in front of Devi Durga.
Foods like fafda, a salty fried crunchy snack and jalebi, a sweet fried sticky snack are relished during Navratri.
Durga Puja in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar
When you are in West Bengal, Assam or Bihar during Navratri, you may wake up to the beats of Dhaks (drum) every Navratri morning.
Huge idols of the Goddess Durga are brought home and also in some community places. East India celebrates, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami on the 7th, 8th and 9th day. In the eastern part of the country, they celebrate the last four days of Navratri as Durga Puja. The people immerse themselves in fun, food, music and pandal hopping. It is not only a festival rather it is a carnival.
The Grand Mysore Celebrations, Karnataka
South India celebrates Navratri with great enthusiasm.
Golu is a ritual where people set up steps and place idols on them. In Mysore, people worship the supreme deity, Chamundi. On the tenth day, a grand procession of elephants and horse chariots follow on the streets when the King heads to worship the Goddess at her hilltop temple.
In Karnataka, since 1610 the Great Vijayanagara dynasty celebrated Navratri as Nadahabba. On the 10th day, Vijayadashami Navratri, as the victory of the good over the evil. The Goddess Shakti fought with the demon Mahishasura and killed him. Ironically, the state of Mysore was named after Mahishasura.
Celebrations in Kerala
On the other hand, in Kerala celebrates Navratri as the most auspicious for learning something new. They worship goddess Saraswati on the last three days. Moreover, they place books next to her statue. On the eight days of Navratri, people put off any study related work into the fire. It marks the honour of Goddess of Knowledge, Devi Saraswati. On this day, in temples children are taught to write their first alphabets on a plate of rice.
Dilli ki Navratri, Delhi
In Delhi during the sacred festival of Navratri, the devotees observe fasts. On the eight days, they end the fast, inviting young girls and they worship as Devis. During Navratri, people of Delhi rejoice the Ramaleela, a play based on the epic Ramayana. On the tenth day, they burn the effigies of Ravana to celebrate the auspicious festival of Dusshera.
The last day is an emotional one as devotees bid a farewell to their beloved Devi Durga. With Navratri round the corner, let’s enchant it all together “Jor Se Bolo, JAI MATA DI.”
Similarly, Tamil Nadu also celebrates these nine days but in a unique manner. During these days, the worship three goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Laxmi. They dedicated each day respectively. Moreover, they invite the relatives in the evening and exchange gifts. They gift bangles, bindi and other ornaments to the married women. In addition, there is a fascinating ritual, Kolu where they decorate a makeshift staircase with dolls that is passed from generations after generations.
Navratri in Punjab
In Punjab, during Navratri they fast for the first seven days, honouring all the reincarnated forms of Maa Shakti. The devotees gather every night to sing religious songs in the Jagarans. On the
On the Ashtami or the Navami, they break the fast and invite nine young girls from the neighbourhood called Kanjak. They consider these girls as the representations of the nine different avatars (forms) of Maa Shakti.
Bathukamma Panduga in Andhra Pradesh
In Andhra Pradesh, during Navratri people celebrate it as Bathukamma Panduga. They dedicate these nine days to Maha Gauri, the goddess representing womanhood. The women make flower stacks with local flowers in traditional style and perform puja. On the final day of Navratri, these stack is then set afloat on a lake.
The Maharashtrians consider Navratri as a new beginning where they prefer buying properties. The married women apply haldi and kumkum on their forehead and exchange gifts. They play garba and dandiya night like Gujarati.
Kullu Dussehra in Himachal Pradesh
When the celebration ends on the other part of the country, it begins in Himachal Pradesh. They celebrate Kullu Dussehra on the 10th day which marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. Hence, the Hindu families gather around and show respect to Goddess Durga.
Navratri is a grand festival in India, which is celebrated in different parts of the country. It is also celebrates the power of woman.