Navratri – Festive Celebrations

Navratri is a 9-day Hindu festival, celebrated to worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga. It is a festival full of colours, lights, dance, worship, and fun. In Mumbai, Garba and Dandiya is a common sight at pandals dedicated to Goddess Durga. The tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashami, and marks the slaying of the demon king Ravana by Lord Ram.

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The Story

The festival celebrates the triumph of Maa Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura had a boon that he could not die at the hands of a man. In his arrogance that a woman would never be able to defeat him, he waged a war against the devas. Hence, Goddess Durga was created to put a stop to Mahishasura, restore dharma, and prove it to the world that women can be just as powerful as men (if not more).

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West Bengal

Navratri is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. But I think, it is celebrated with a lot of zest in West Bengal. I had the privilege of going to Kalimpong and Siliguri last year for Durga Puja. It was a surreal experience. We could find pandals dedicated to Goddess Durga on almost every street; even in the most remote locations in the mountains of Kalimpong. In the evening, everyone used to gather around in the pandals for a night full of fun, dancing, food, and what not! I hope I can go to Kolkata someday for Durga Puja. 😀

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A pandal in Kalimpong

This year, I had a lot of fun visiting pandals and photographing the idols there. Idols of Maa Durga are decorated with fine jewellery, fabulous outfits, and placed in beautiful sets.

I have made a video of my best shots that can be viewed here

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Jai Mata Di!

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