Sharad Navratri celebrated in the holy month of Ashwin is also knowns as Maha Navratri. There are four Navratris celebrated in a year - Chaitra Navratri, Paush Navratri, Magha Navratri and Sharad Navratri, out of which Maha Navratri is the most significant one. This year (2017), navratri is being celebrated from 21st September. The ninth day of the navratri festival is known as Navami or Mahanavami.

Beliefs about Navami
It is beleived that Navami is the ninth day of fight between Goddess Durga and buffalo demon Mahishasura. The fight continued for days and ended on the tenth day when Goddess Durga
defeated Mahishasura. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijay Dashmi.

Ayudha Puja
Also known as 'Astra Puja', Ayudha Puja is done by first cleaning all the tools, machines, vehicles and other equipments followed by polishing and painting them. After that they are smeared with turmeric, kumkum and sandalwood paste. On the evening of the day prior to Puja, they are decorated with flowers.On the day of Puja, they are worshipped along with the images of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Parvati.
Books and other instruments are also placed for worship.

Now lets see few pictures depicting how Dussehra (Vijay Dhashmi) is celebrated across India.

Mysore palace decorated by lights

The major attraction of the Mysore Dussehra festival is the illumination of Mysore Palace daily by using around 100,000 light bulbs from 7 pm to 10 pm on the days of the festival. Apart from this, various cultural programmes including dance, music etc. depicting the culture of the state of Karnataka are also performed.

Telengana celebrates Bathukamma festival (a flower festival) on Navami

Bathukamma is a beautiful stack of flowers. It includes unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal values, kept in seven concentric layers in the shape of a temple gopuram. In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma' means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’.


One of the best aspects of the festivities, Durga Puja in particular is the magnificent Durga Puja pandals that are installed in various parts of the country. Kolkata in West Bengal is on top when it comes to this. Several places are well known for the wonderful pandal themes and decorations. Deshapriya Park in Kolkata always puts its best efforts every year during Durga Puja celebration.


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