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Navratri | Navaratri



Navratri Navdurga

Navratri is a significant Hindu festival which is observed for 9 nights and 10 days. During Navratri, nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.

As per Mahakala Samhita, there are four Navratri in Hindu calendar.

As per the religious text, the significance of each Navratri varies from Yuga to Yuga. In Satya Yuga Vasant Navratri during Chaitra lunar month becomes the most significant among all four Navratri. Similarly, in Treta Yuga Gupta Navratri during Ashadha lunar month, in Dvapara Yuga Gupta Navratri during Magha lunar month and in Kali Yuga Sharad Navratri during Ashwin lunar month becomes the most significant among all four Navratri.

Navratri Origin | Significance

During Sharadiya Navratri, Goddess Durga killed mighty demon Mahishasura. Different religious texts mention separate form of Goddess Durga who killed Mahishasura. As per Rambha Kalpa, Goddess Durga in the form of 18 handed Ugrachandi killed Mahishasura. However, as per Neelalohita Kalpa, 16 handed Bhadrakali killed Mahishasura and as per Shwetavaraha Kalpa 10 handed Katyayani killed Mahishasura.

However, most religious texts agree that it was demon Mahishasura who was killed by one of the ferocious forms of Goddess Durga. Hence, the victory of Goddess Durga over evil is celebrated during Navratri.

It is also believed that Lord Rama also worshipped Goddess Durga during Sharad Navratri. On the advice of Lord Brahma, Lord Rama invoked Goddess Durga and sought her blessings before waging war against demon Ravana. As Lord Rama invoked Goddess Durga during her sleeping period, since then the untimely invocation of the Goddess Durga during Sharad Navratri is also known as Akal Bodhan of Goddess Durga.

Navratri Deity(s)

The main Goddess of Navratri is Goddess Durga who is also known as Goddess Bhavani and Goddess Amba. All these forms of Durga are attributed to Goddess Parvati.

Apart from Goddess Durga, nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped during Navratri. Depending on the region and Sampradaya, the list of nine Goddesses which are worshipped during Navratri might differ.

As per Shaiva Sampradaya and the list of Navratri Goddesses which is mostly followed in North India, presiding deity of each Tithi from Pratipada to Navami during Navratri are as following -

  1. Shailaputri
  2. Brahmacharini
  3. Chandraghanta
  4. Kushmanda
  5. Skandamata
  6. Katyayani
  7. Kalaratri
  8. Mahagauri
  9. Siddhidatri

In South India, following nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped -

  1. Vanadurga
  2. Shoolini
  3. Jataveda
  4. Shanti
  5. Shabari
  6. Jwaladurga
  7. Lavanadurga
  8. Asuridurga
  9. Deepdurga

Similarly, Vaishnava Sampradaya and Madhva Sampradaya follow their own list of nine deities which are worshipped during Navratri.

Navratri Date and Time

Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin lunar month with Ghatasthapana. Kalash, which is installed during Ghatasthapana, is immersed in water body on the tenth day.

Navratri begins - Pratipada (1st day) of Ashwin (seventh lunar month) Shukla Paksha
Navratri ends - Navami (9th day) of Ashwin Shukla Paksha

Navratri Festivals List

Navratri Observance

Numerous rituals are followed during Navratri. These rituals vary from state to state and within a state region to region. However, we are listing the most common rituals which are observed and traditions which are followed during Navratri.

Navratri Regional Variance

Navratri is observed as Durga Puja in West Bengal and Assam. Although the concept of Durga Puja and Navratri is same and timing of both festivals overlaps, the rituals and observances are significantly differ for both festivals.

The main difference between Navratri and Durga Puja is due to the several Durga sects which are in existence for Durga worship. Katyayani Kalpa and Bhadrakali Kalpa are two significant sects for Durga worship which are mentioned in religious books.

  • Navratri as Durga Puja in West Bengal
    Durga Puja is observed as per Katyayani Kalpa. In Katyayani Kalpa, the significant Durga worship is done for 3 days and these 3 days are observed as Maha Saptami, Durga Ashtami and Durga Navami. The rituals of Bilva Nimantran to invite Goddess Durga for Puja on Shashti evening and installing Goddess Durga with seven pious leaves during Navpatrika Puja on Saptami morning are part of Katyayani Kalpa Vidhanam. As per Katyayani Kalpa, Ghatasthapana is performed on Pratipada itself and Durga Visarjan is done on Dashami Tithi.
  • Navratri in Gujarat and North India
    Navratri is observed as per Bhadrakali Kalpa. In Bhadrakali Kalpa, the nine forms of Durga are worshipped during 9 days. Each day of Navratri is dedicated to one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga and all these 9 incarnations of Goddess Durga are worshipped in a fixed order.
    Kanya Puja and Jyoti Kalash are part of Navratri rituals. Kanya Puja is also known as Kumari Puja.
  • Navratri in South India
    In South India, Navratri is synonym to Bommala Koluvu which is also popular as Golu, Kolu and Bombe Habba. During Navratri, various dolls are collected and displayed in multiple steps for public viewing. The displaying of dolls during Bommala Koluvu is so popular that it is also known as doll festival.
    In South India, apart from public display of dolls, 9 days of Navratri are divided into three equal numbers of days. Goddess Durga as Kali is worshipped during the first 3 days of Navratri. After Goddess Durga, for next 3 days Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped. During the last 3 day of Navratri Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning and knowledge is worshipped.
  • Navratri in Karnataka
    In Karnataka, ninth day of Navratri is observed as Ayudha Puja. During Ayudha Puja, all sorts of weapons are kept in Puja room and worshipped ritualistically. However, in modern India, weapon worship is only symbolic now and people worship their vehicles on the day of Ayudha Puja.

Navratri Similar Festivals

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