Navratri and Durga Puja

The festival called Navratri in Gujarat and Maharashtra and Durga Puja in Bengal, is one of the most auspicious festivals of the year. From Garba and Dandiya to Pandal hopping , people enjoy a lot during this festival.

Well let’s talk about the significance of Navratri and what follows after that. Navratri means nine nights i.e. each night an avatar of Goddess Durga is worshipped. And people dress up in assigned colour clothes and perform a dance called Garba and Dandiya. Each colour signifies the characteristic of the avatar being worshipped on that day. The sequence for this year was:-

Day 1 Orange – Shailputri

Energy and Happiness

Day 2 – White – Brahmacharini

Peace and Purity

Day 3 – Red – Chandraghanta

Beauty and Fearlessness

Day 4 – Royal Blue – Kushmanda

Health and Wealth

Day 5 – Yellow – Skandamata

Happiness and Brightness

Day 6 – Green – Katyayani

New Beginnings and Growth

Day 7 – Grey – Kalaratri

Strength

Day 8 – Purple – Mahagauri

Power of Intellect

Day 9 – Peacock Green – Siddhidhatri

Fulfillment of Desires

On the other hand, Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja by setting up Pandals (temporary stage and structural decorations) and playing the Dhaak. The festival is also marked by scripture recitations, performance arts, revelry, gift giving, family visits, feasting and public processions. Though the primary goddess revered during Durga Puja in Bengal is Durga, the celebrations also include other major deities of Hinduism such Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity), Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge and music), Ganesh (the god of new beginnings), and Kartikeya (the god of war) . It is ten-day festival in which the last five (Shashiti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navratri and Vijaya Dashami) are of more importance. I went to these beautiful pandals on the auspicious day of Ashtami where I got to see many beautiful deities and ate Bengali delicacies. Have a look:-

Congress Bhavan, Shivajinagar

Vimannagar

Rohi Villa Palace, Koregaon Park

Kali Bari, Khadki

Let me tell you a little about the Kali Bari pandal. It is one of the most auspicious pandals in Pune. Every year the outer part of the pandal is themed as a temple in India. They start building six months prior. This year it was Akshardham, Gandhinagar. It is extremely popular and hence very crowded. But if you are planning a pandal hopping next year, this place is a must.

The end of 9 days marks the day of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami which signifies the win of good over evil.

I know this is one of my longest blogs because Navratri or Durga Puja is one of my most favourite festivals.

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