It’s that time of the year when the sounds of dhol and the clapping of dandiya sticks are heard and feet tapping music gets you grooving to some of the most delectable numbers. Decked up in colourful attires one gets to see Navratri being celebrated in different ways in different parts of India. It will not be possible for an individual to visit the length and breadth of the country during the festive season to experience the fervour of Navratri in ways that are region specific, but this piece can make one go places virtually! Here’s taking a look at how the different states of India celebrate the auspicious nine nights of Navratri.
A clay pot symbolises the garbha or the womb which is the source of life on earth. It is a prominent feature during Navratri celebrations in Gujarat. Women in vibrant and grand costumes dance around the pot which is filled with water, a betel nut and a silver coin. The folk dance form of garbha derives its name from the iconic clay pot around which women whirl and dance. Dandiya Raas is another important attraction in Gujarat during the festive season. Different communities have different variations of these dances and the heady mix of jubilation and enthusiasm is all-pervasive.
Vijayadasami or Dussera is celebrated on the tenth day of Navratri, which also marks the triumph of good over evil. It is also considered as an auspicious start for spiritual practices. Vijayadasami marks the triumph of Lord Rama over demon King Ravana. In North India especially in Delhi and UP, huge fairs are held on the evening of Dussera or Vijayadasami and effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath are burnt in open ground or maidans.
The East Indian state of West Bengal celebrates Navratri as Durga Puja with much pomp and glitter. Starting from the seventh day until the tenth, Goddess Durga is received with much love and warmth and her arrival and departure are overwhelming, for she departs only to return the following year. For the Gods and the Goddesses, pandals become their temporary abode and their sight mesmerises one and all. A literal visit to the capital city of Kolkata during Durga Puja is ‘a must watch’ in one’s lifetime.
The festival of Navratri in southern states of India is called Kolu or Golu or Bombe Habba in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Well crafted colorful Kolu dolls are put on display on numbered tiers generally 7, 9 or 11. Golu dolls are principally of the gods and goddesses characterizing conviction and folk tales. As per tradition these dolls must include few wooden dolls. Golu is worshiped by lighting a lamp in front of it every evening for these nine days and devotional hymns and shlokas are chanted.
Other popular way of celebrating Navratri is in Andhra Pradesh as ‘Batukamma Panduga‘, which is actually a beautiful flower stack, arranged with seasonal flowers, in seven layers. It is made to look like a pot made of flowers. Kerala celebrates only the last three days of Navratri., they place and worship books as well as musical instruments. Whereas Karnataka’s way of celebrating Navratri dates back to the times of Raja Wodeyar in the 1610. The Kannadigas follow the same trend which was followed by the Vijayanagara dynasty called as ‘Naada Habba’ in the state.
So, you know how the festival of Navratri is celebrated with different style and rituals but with equal zeal and zest in different parts of India. Also, check out these 5 of the Best Dance Venues you must visit in Mumbai this Navratri. Relax, Rejoice and Rejuvenate the joy of Navratri.