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“Sare jahan se accha Hindostan hamara” is a patriotic song sung by every Indian with a pride. What makes us to sing the song? India is only country on the planet which has diversified and varied culture and tradition. From north to south and east to west it is rich in heritage.
Deeds and thoughts
Emperors, kings, saints and leaders have contributed in building India. From ancient emperors Ashoka, Harshavardhana to recent kings Shivaji Maharaj, Mahrana pratap and Tipu sultan glorified this land. Saints like Buddha, Mahavir, Gurunanak and many more made India pious and holy. Social activists and spiritual leader Mother Teresa found peace in India. Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Veer Sawarkar, Netaji Subhashchandra Bose freed India from British. With different thoughts and activities they fought towards freedom. C V Raman, Homi Bhabha, A P J Abdul Kalam and many scientists lifted India to greater heights. Lata Mangeshkar and SachinTendulkar brighten the world of sports and arts. So the thoughts, deeds and activities have proved the richness.
India is blessed with scenic beauty. Kashmir has marvelous Himalayan valley. Kerala, Maharashtra and Goa have sea shores and beaches spread across. We have the pleasure of geographic treasure in deserts of Rajasthan, forests of Assam and mountains of Darjeeling or Ooty.
Historical monuments built by different kings and emperors are part and parcel of India. India Gate, Charminar, Taj Mahal, Gate way of India, Vivekananda rock memorial is always points of attraction. Forts and Palaces of different kingdoms equally add value in respective places. Holy temples, gurudwaras, mosque and churches are adding beauty to the places.
Festivals and Celebrations
Diwali, dusserah, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi and many festivals are celebrated by Hindus throughout year. Ramzan and Bakari Eid are celebrated by Muslims. Mahavir jayanti by Jains, Buddhapurniuma by Buddhas and Guru nanak jayanti is celebrated by Sikhs. Christsmas and New Year are celebrated by Christians. Though different religions are followed by people, in true sense these festivals are celebrated by all Indians irrespective of religion.
Food and Dishes
Every region or area in India is famous for particular food. Dhokla, jalebi, rasgulla, dosa, idli, lassi represent different places of India. And all of them are best food.
Dance and other Art forms
Bhangada from Punjab, Bharatnatyam from south, Katthak from North, Lavani from Maharashtra, odissi from Orissa and many more forms of dance are famous worldwide.
Crops and Raw Food
The variety in soil and climate has led to variety of crops, fruits and raw food. Apples from Kashmir, Tea from Darjeeling, Wheat from Punjab, Spices from Kerala and Mango from Maharastra are the examples of varied agro outputs from varied places.
Specialties or Famous products
Climate, soil and other natural resources are providing raw material for various manufacturing of products. Traditions and culture also support the production of the specific products for past many years. The cotton or silk sarees like Banarsi, Kota, Bandhani, Paithani, Dharwar, Mysore, Uppada, Calcutta and chanderi is a prominent example. While jewelries, footwear, leather products also represent regional specialties.
So India has real treasure in diversity and specialties!! India is best!!!
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Specialties in Cotton Sarees
We find the production of cotton sarees almost in all the states. And are full of the variety in designs, texture, colours and style. Cotton sarees usually come in the form of pure cotton, Gadhwal cotton, Bellum cotton, Gangotri cotton, Vyankatgiri cotton, Solapur cotton, Hyderabad Cotton Patola, Kanjiwaram cotton and Calcutta cotton. These Cotton Sarees are hand woven skilfully and are great gift ideas for Diwali and other festive occasions.
Gadhwal cotton sarees with the design of beautiful flowers and leaves stretched sprawling very artistically throughout the body of the saree and the Jari buttas with a lovely Jari border matching to the body colour and the attractive Pallu. The white Gadhwal cotton colored sarees with a variety of combinations really adds extra stars to the elegance of a lady!
Bellum cotton sarees usually come in plain colours with a broad and wide Jari skirt borders on both the sides, giving a different overall look to the saree.
Gangotri cotton sarees with jari and floral designs have specially designed borders to titivate the prettiness of women.
Vyankatgiri cotton sarees have silk border and are nowadays have come up with new body designs rather than the traditional ones.
Solapur cotton sarees also fascinate the ladies to add few in their collection, because they are with silk matching borders to the Kashida work in the body.
Hyderabad Cotton Patola sarees create a center of attention due to their specific design of horizontal stripes, moreover the few are having buttas on the body. Very easy for maintenance, can be draped after washing without ironing.
Kanjiwaram cotton sarees are heavy with jari buttas spread throughout, with special border and pallu, the artistically designed borders with the Kathakali dancers woven in silk on the morpankhi background.
Calcutta cotton sarees are mostly in off white colours with thin border and the same colored buttas within the body. They come even in jari border and jari buttas. Starch is must for these sarees.
Cotton sarees come in many other variety like South cotton, Coimbatore cotton, Kerala cotton, Uppada cotton, Pochampally cotton too and moreover now days they are available in the blends also. Like other sarees, Cotton sarees require maintenance in the form of washing, starching and ironing.
As compared to other types of sarees, the price of cotton sarees is comparatively low. But though the price is low, they comes with bunch of benefits. Also, take a look at the ever-fashionable Kolhapuri Chappals for women that complements perfectly with these beautiful sarees.
Kolhapur stands for its food, Goddess Mahalaxmi’s Temple and the Kolhapuri Chappal, which happens to be famous globally. Owning a pair of these, would make you feel closely related to Maharashtra. The pair of Kolhapuri Chappals is a hand crafted foot-wear which was originated from Kolhapur and is made out of Buffalo-hide and is dyed with vegetable-extract. The pair usually takes around 6 months to be made perfectly and it can last for a life-time if not worn in rainy season.
The Kolhapuri Chappal has numerous names like ‘Paytaan’, ‘Pukari’, ‘Kapashi’, ‘Bakkalnali’ and ‘Kachkadi’ These are the names of some different places where the Kolhapuri Chappal craftsmen families belong to. These families have been working in this business post 13th century and have also modernized in the method of craftsmanship too.
This hand made slipper has a basic design which consists of a spoke, two straps, a heel and some decorative element. The some is cut out from the Buffalo hide by a scissor dimensionally. The heel is made according to the requirement of the design. The heel is then, separately attached to the sole and is fixed by nailing. The sole is covered by another piece of leather which is glued to the base sole. After gluing, the sole is hammered to make sure that the adhesive has worked it’s way into it. The decorative part is taken care by hand carving. Certain tools which are designed to create particular niches.
Though they look simple, but are efficient to create eye catchy patterns on the slipper. After that, the grip for the slipper is made by attaching two different straps. A T-strap and a toe-strap is attached to the sole by flying them out and also hammering them. Now we have almost all the parts attached and glued to the slipper, time for some finishing folks! Since the leather is hand cut, glued and is hammered, it would at least need some finishing. This is done by holding the slipper onto a machine operated wheel and After that, some wax is also poured into the sides of the sole to complete this process.The slipper can weigh up to 2 kilograms since it can be modified and has various designs in it.
Wearing a Kolhapuri Chappal is a privilege for one since it’s an invention of the medieval era. The slipper happens to be a link between the commoners and royals in that period. The beautiful craftsmanship, the hard-work and the perfect final product states a lot about this foot-wear.
The design of this slipper is planned in such a way that it helps the body of a person to reduce the heat present in . As this happens , there can a noticeable change in the colour of the sole of the slipper . So this can assure one that the heat in the body is being thrown out.
In today’s market, we can see a lot of handcrafted chappals which are an impersonification of the basic design of a Kolhapuri Chhappal. Street markets have had a bang-on sale of the modernized versions of the Kolhapuri Chhappals. Whilst there are also those , who still follow the old method and want to continue with the tradition of it. Being a true craftsman is all about originality and continuing the traditions ( Buy original and traditional Kolhapuri chappals at www.bestofplace.com ). And along with that the needs of the today’s generations are changing and so the artisan families have also introduced new designs to fulfill the new generation’s expectation. So it is a perfect blend of Tradition and Style where men and women both find comfort and style in Kolhapuri Chappals.
Since the chhappals have a basic design, they can be worn on any occasion. Either it can be a wedding, a normal day at work or even in an outing for that matters. The design being durable and basic, it probably matches every outfit be it a simple Cotton Saree or an elaborate Paithani Silk Saree.
The price, the joy, the royal and the style that footwear can make you feel, is only the Kolhapuri Chhappal.
Some of the significance attributed to celebrating the New Year
India is a predominantly agrarian society. Thus celebrations and festivals are often linked to the turn of the season and to the sowing and reaping of crops. This day marks the end of one agricultural harvest and the beginning of a new one. In this context, the Gudhi Padwa – New Year is celebrated at the end of the Rabi season. Guḍhī Pāḍavā is one of the Saadhe Teen Muhurta in the Indian Lunar calendar.
On this day, the sun assumes a position above the point of intersection of the equator and the meridians. According to the Hindu calendar, this marks the commencement of the Vasanta ritu or the spring season.
Gudhi symbolizes the Brahmadhvaj mentioned in the Brahma Purana, because Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. It may also represent Indradhvaj. According to the Brahma Purana, this is the day on which Brahma created the world after the deluge and time began to tick from this day forth. This day also commemorates the commencement of the Shaka calendar after [Gautamiputra Satakarni], also known as defeated sakas in battle in 78 A.D.It symbolizes the victory of King Shalivahana over Sakas and was hoisted by his people when he returned to Paithan.
Historically, the New Year symbolizes Lord Rama’s victory and happiness on returning to Ayodhya after slaying Ravana. Since a symbol of victory is always held high, so is the Gudhi (flag). It is believed that this festival is celebrated to commemorate the coronation of Rama post his return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile. So, people celebrated victory of lord Rama every year by raising Gudhi. Gudhi is symbol of victory of lord Rama.
Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.
New Year in different regions and states
Festival is celebrated as Guḍhi Paḍawa in Maharashtra, which is known as Samvatsar Padvo among Hindu Konkanis of Goa and Konkani Diaspora in Kerala. Yugadi among the rest of Konkani Diaspora in Karnataka is known as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and telangana. And also it is Navreh or Navreh amongst Kashmiri Pandits and Cheti Chand among the Sindhi people. It is also celebrated in the North-East state of Manipur where it is known by the name Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba. People prepare a variety of cuisine on this day and later in the evening people climb nearby hillock.
Gudhi Padawa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा; Telugu ఉగాది Ugadi; Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ Yugadi is derived from the Sanskrit name for ChaitraShukla Pratipad. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. The word पाडवा (pāḍavā) or पाडवो (pāḍavo) or पड्ड्वा/पाड्ड्वो (pāḍḍavā/pāḍḍavo) comes from the Sanskrit word प्रतिपद or प्रतिपदा (pratipadā) in Sanskrit, which refers to the first day of a lunar fortnight. In south India, first day of the bright phase of the moon is called pāḍya (Kannada: ಪಾಡ್ಯ; Telugu:పాడ్యమి, paadyami; Konkani: पाड्यॆ, ಪಾಡ್ಯ). Konkani Hindus variously refer to the day as संसर पाडवो or संसर पाड्यॆ (saṁsāra pāḍavo / saṁsāra pāḍye), संसार (saṁsāra) being a corruption of the word संवत्सर (saṁvatsara). Konkani Hindus in Karnataka also refer to it as युगादि, ಯುಗಾದಿ (ugādi). Pohela Boishakh celebration is also celebrated in Bengal with a gap of few days.
Gudhi Padwa is derived from the Sanskrit name for Chaitra Shukla Pratipad. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New Year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar.
Here are five of the most important rituals associated with New Year celebration and this is what they signify:
The Abhyanga Snana or the Holy Bath
India, unlike several western countries that have a temperate climate, is a tropical country. And so unlike in the West, a bath becomes a very important part of any given day. The Abhyanga snana or the holy bath has a special significance. Traditionally, people massage oil using utane (herbal powder) to bathe themselves. A bath/shower is traditionally associated with cleansing of the body and indeed the soul. It isn’t unusual for people having access to clean rivers and ponds to have their bath in the open and pay their respects to the Sun. The idea of having the abhyanga snana before sunrise is that you should be clean and ready to welcome the Sun.
Derived from the Sanskrit word rangavalli, the art form of Rangoli predates sculpting and painting. Traditionally these colorful patterns are drawn in courtyards of houses. Rangolis are typically geometric patterns drawn on the floor. The patterns are believed to manifest themselves into vibrations in the observer’s mind and have a calming effect. Traditional Hindu beliefs suggest that Rangolis also ward off negative energies and attract good luck.
The flower decorations
Gudi Padhwa marks the beginning of spring. With spring arrives the fresh blossoms and tropical flowers of all colors and fragrances. Flowers, in any culture, have come to be associated with good luck and best wishes. With spring, flowers are readily accessible and are easiest and the best form of decorating one’s home. Various flowers signify various things but in general they symbolize purity and spread positive energy.
The Gudhi itself is a wooden staff covered with a yellow or saffron cloth, twigs of neem and mango leaves and an upturned metal pot. It serves as a flag of sorts. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj hoisted Gudhis atop forts at the end of every major victory. It is thus not unusual to also find saffron flags being hoisted on the day of Gudhi Padhwa. The Gudhi has to be positioned to the right of the house and must be displayed in such a manner that it is visible from afar too.
As with all other festivals, there are a lot of sweet preparations made during Gudhi Padawa. Traditional recipes of Gudhi Padawa are Pruanpoli, Basundi, Lapshi etc. but the prasad itself is unique in that it is a mix of neem and jaggery. The combination of bitter and sweet is said to symbolize the journey of life itself, which can never be complete without a healthy mix of sorrow and joy.
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Wish you all a happy, successful and healthy year ahead!!!
Dussehra The festival of Victory – History and Tradition
India is a hub of festivals and celebrations. Indian festivals have always been known for its rich history, ethnic culture, ancient background, and traditional rituals. Like any other festival, Dussehra too holds a unique story. Right from its historical context to modern-day significance and celebrations; there is more than just burning effigies of evil Gods and calling it a perfect climax of 10-day celebrations – Dussehra The festival of Victory.
The word Vijayadashmi also known as “Dussehra” has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Dash-hara”, meaning Ravana’s defeat. A turn of significant events, dating back to the ages of Gods and Goddesses, together commemorate Dussehra. Where one story emphasizes the victory of Lord Rama over the 10-headed demon Ravana, who had kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita; another brings into the picture the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura. Dussehra is perhaps the only festival which highlights the two Hindu epics together: Ramayana and Mahabharata. Besides Rama’s win over Ravana, it also reflects on the exile of Pandavas, the five brothers of Mahabharata.
Dussehra also marks the homecoming of Durga as she comes to earth from heaven along with her husband, Lord Shiva and four children: Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Kartikeya, for five days. Another historic relevance is that of Kautsa’s gift of gold coins, in the form of rain, to his Guru, Rishi Varatantu. With such great history and legendary actions, Dussehra is amongst the most popular festivals in the country and is celebrated from North-to-South and East-to-West in different forms and ways.
Celebrations across India
Dussehra is celebrated, with vibrancy and glory across all parts of the country. In North, Ramlila rules the festival. Various scenes from Ramayana like Ram-Bharat Milap, Ravana’s death and the return of Rama with brother Lakshmana and wife Sita to Ajodhya, after completing 14 years of exile. Kulu valley of Himachal Pradesh is famous for its week-long ceremonies, enactments and grand processions of village deities. Coming down to Delhi and its neighboring states; people burn giant effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran; Ravana’s brother who used to sleep for six months and stay awake for another six. Such celebrations happen in Ramlila mela, organized by different societies at large grounds.
In Southern states namely Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Dussehra is a 9-day celebration of three Goddesses. The first three days are devoted to Lakshmi (Goddess of prosperity and wealth), the next three days to Saraswati (Goddess of learning and arts) and the final three days worship Durga (Mother Goddess of Shakti). During this time, women and children make “Bommai Kolu”, artificial dolls and statues on well decorated and embellished steps. They further beautify the nearby place with colorful lamps and flowers. The final day, Vijayadashami, is considered to be crucial for students of academics and art.
In Eastern India especially West Bengal, Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja. It is the last day when women feed the Goddess and her children with sweets and wave goodbye for another year. People dance to the tunes of Dhak and Dhol, holding Dhunuchi; married women enjoy vermilion ceremony where they spread vermilion on each other’s face and men embrace each other with good wishes, joys and hopes. Ma Durga along with her kids is immersed in the Ganges. In Orissa, it is known as Vijoya Dashami. The immersion ceremony is called Bisarjan Jatra signifying as Dussehra The festival of Victory.
Western states celebrate Dussehra on the tenth day of the Ashwin month, adhering to the Shaka Hindu Calendar. They immerse the idols, which are prepared at the beginning of Navratri, in memory of Rama’s victory over Ravana. Amidst fun and fiesta among friends, relatives and community; the Maharashtrians also worship the Aapta tree and exchange its leaves. On this occasion, they also recall the legendary tale of Shami tree, under which the Pandavas had kept their weapons during 12 years of outcast. Maharashtrians consider Dussehra as the best time to have new beginnings and enter into new ventures.
Significant Rituals & Traditions
Rituals are an important part of any Indian festival and so in Dussehra. Burning effigies of evil gods- 10-headed Ravana, Mahishasura, Kumbhkarna and his son Meghnath; spreading tikas on each other’s forehead and organizing Ramlila are prevalent across all parts of India. During Ramlila, artists disguise themselves as mythological characters and walk towards the Maidan or ground where stages are set for performance. People joins them, and altogether they burst crackers, light lamps and welcome signs of victory and good beginnings.
In Eastern states, men embrace each other and commemorate brotherhood; women spread vermilion on each other’s face, and people form groups and dance dhunuchi. Some other parts of the country witness the ritual of searching wagtail or khaujan. Residents engage in day-long activity of getting the khaujan, which is believed to bring good or bad luck, depending on where it’s found.
Gifting of Banni leaves is more common in Northern states like UP and people consider these leaves to be actual gold coins which were dispensed by Kautsa, according to age-old classic. Banni leaves are traditional gifts given to relatives and well-wishers.
Vidyarambam, or the beginning of learning, education and academics, is the backbone of South India’s Dussehra. People dedicate this day to the Goddess of Learning and they worship books, pen, musical instruments and other educational tools. Children take this day to enter into culture education, concerning music and dance.
Kolhapur Royal Dussehra
It’s the Dasara among the royals (Shahi Dasara). With the 1932 Maybach, it gives a majestic touch to the festivities and enhances the long legacy and tradition. Maybach, a four-seater vintage has been a part of Shahu Maharaja’s family and for the past 80 years, has been out on the streets, to observe Dussehra. The custom-made saffron-hued car graces the occasion, as it passes by city crowd, greeting everyone and spreading love and good wishes. The magnificent car has been a sign of traditional sophistication. The Royals clad in finest traditional wear and walk along with the car all throughout Kolhapur and reach the chowk called as Dasara Chowk. Members of the Kolhapur family perform all rituals and age-old practices and throw open to imperial celebrations. The antique four-wheeler is well decorated, much in advance and the majestic celebrations and observances, takes Dussehra to another level of devotion, commitment, and worship.
Mysore is one of the famous cities, where Dussehra is enjoyed, in full vibrancy and charm. With a history of more than four centuries, this is indeed the best place to get the real flavor of this festival. The city holds a legacy since the days of Kauravas and Pandavas and even now showcases true colors and realms associated with Dussehra. Cultural programs are conducted across large communities and grounds and people gather in thousands to live the Dussehra moments. Women take part in various competitions, like rangoli, dance, musical chairs, improvisation and other exciting activities. Apart from competitions, there are traditional dance programs, accompanied by regional music. With such enthusiastic revelries and gaiety; Mysore lives up to the Dussehra mood.
With this, Dussehra marks an end to a 10-day fun, fiesta and gala events. Whether it’s the Royals or commoners, people come together, enhance their spirit and throw open to the festive mood. Dussehra is undoubtedly the most fascinating festival where regional dances, traditions, culture and mythology get more prominence and dignity and touches the heart of Indians.
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Symbolizing victory of positivity over negativity, Navratri literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit; Nav – Nine and Ratri – nights. During these nine nights and ten days, the three forms of the goddess -Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi – are invoked.
What’s the Significance of Navratri?
During Navaratri, we invoke the energy aspect of God in the form of the universal mother, commonly referred to as “Durga,” which literally means the remover of miseries of life. She is also referred to as “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (energy or power). It is this energy, which helps God to proceed with the work of creation, preservation and destruction. In other words, you can say that God is motionless, absolutely changeless, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Truly speaking, our worship of Shakti re-confirms the scientific theory that energy is imperishable. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is always there.
Why Nine Nights & Days?
Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. In order have all-round success in life, we need the blessings of all three aspects of the divine mother; hence, the worship for nine nights.
Goddess Durga is also worshipped under nine different names for the nine days in Navratri. Every day, she assumes a new character, a new look and a new duty. These nine forms of manifestation are Shailaputri, Brahmachartini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamaata, Kaatyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidaatri. For the initial six days Puja celebrations are limited to home. The celebrations acquire a festive form since the seventh day when the festivities of Navratri surround the atmosphere.
Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses.
First three days
The goddess is separated as a spiritual force called Durga also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities.
First Day Puja
The first form of Goddess Durga is called ‘Shailaputri’. She is considered the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the consort of Lord Shiva.
Second Day Puja
The second form of Goddess Durga is known as ‘Brahmacharini’. Her name is derivative of the word ‘Brahma’, which means ‘Tapa’ or penace. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati, a form of Mata Shakti.
Third Day Puja
On the third day the Goddess is worshipped as ‘Chandraghanta’. She is the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery.
Second three days
The Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth, as she is the goddess of wealth
Fourth Day Puja
On the fourth day Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form ‘Kushmanda’. It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe and she has created the entire Universe by her laugh.
Fifth Day Puja
On the fifth day, the form of Goddess Durga is called ‘Skandamaata’. She is actually called so because she is here represented as the mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army.
Sixth Day Puja
On the sixth day, the Goddess Durga is worshipped as ‘Kaatyayani’. Seated on her vehicle lion, Kaatyayani has three eyes and four hands.
Final three days
The final set of three days is spent in worshiping the goddess of wisdom, Sarasvati. In order to have all-round success in life, believers seek the blessings of all three aspects of the divine femininity, hence the nine nights of worship.
Seventh Day Puja
On the seventh day, the Goddess Durga is worshiped as ‘Kaalratri’. As the name suggests, Kaalratri is as black as a dark night. She has four hands, she is meant to make the devotees fearless.
Eighth Day Puja
On the eight day, the Goddess Durga is worshiped as ‘Mahagauri’. She is considered to extremely beautiful, white like snow and accessorized with white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits wisdom.
Ninth Day Puja
On the ninth day, Goddess Durga is worshipped as ‘Siddhidaatri’. It is believed she consists of all the eight siddhis. She lives on lotus and is worshipped by all the Rishis-Munis, Siddhas, Sadhakas and Yogis.
Prominent Places for Navratri Celebrations
Experience the festivities and traditions of the Indian culture during Navratri in Gujarat. Navratri is devoted to celebrating Goddess Durga. You will see people dancing to garba tunes with a lamp in the hand.
Spread across Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Gandhinagar and even the smallest villages, the state comes alive with gusto for celebration through music, dance and food. Relish authentic Gujarati food like dhokla, thepla, khakra and much more at the time of the festival.
2. West Bengal
The state comes to life and streets are bright with lanterns and on the ninth day, married women bid farewell by splashing colour (sindoor) on each other. The idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in water. Durga Puja ends with thousands of devotes bidding farewell to Goddess Durga marking the beginning ofVijayadashami.
Navratri brings out the triumph of good over evil, celebrated over 10 days in a form of dance-drama called Ramlila- a traditional play that enacts scenes from the epic of Ramyana.
The ghats of Varanasi come alive with beautiful hymns of Ramcharitmanas sung over the 10 days. Varanasi reverberates rituals, traditions and holiness in the ten-day fest. The temples are thronged by pilgrims from all over the world and lights illuminate the city.
4. Himachal Pradesh
Dhalpur Maidan in Kullu Valley, where Lord Raghunath is worshipped is the epicentre of this festival. The idols of the local Gods and Goddess are brought to the ground by a procession. The end of the festivity is marked by burning a piece of wood and grass at the banks of river Beas. The ritual symbolises the burning of Lanka as occuring in holy Ramayana, denoting the triumph of good over evil.
Dussehra festival is celebrated over 10 days in the Karnataka. The celebration is royal and grand, marking the victory of truth over evil. The festival has been celebrated for over 400 years; lights illuminate the complete city. The famous Mysore Palace is decorated with more than 1,00,000 lights on the festival of Dussehra, giving you a chance to en is a rare visual treat that no other city offers. Don’t miss the procession of beautifully adorned elephants on the decorated streets of Mysore, which displays city’s royalty and ethnic culture. The procession is held to celebrate Goddess Durga killing the demon Mahishasura on Dussehra day.
The tribal area of Bastar celebrates Dussehra like none of the other states does. Spread over a span of 75 days, Bastar celebrates the festive season by worshiping Devi Maoli, a local Goddess and her sisters during Navratri.
Thousands of devotees and priests gather to bring the local deities to Danteshwari Temple inJagdalpur. The idols are bought using chariots in a holy procession. The chariot is prepared by the local artisan’s using traditional tools. The procession is held between Bastar and Jagdalpur.
The oldest and one of the most visited shrines in the country of Vashno Devi is located at Katra inJammu. If you are looking for a spiritual experience, visit Katra during the Navratri festival. Thousands of devotees from across the nation arrive here to offer their prayers. Dazzling lights beautifully decorate the city for nine days of Navaratri. Listen to the chants of Jai Mata Di filling the air.
Delhi, the heart of India celebrates Dussehra with all the joy, marking the victory of good over evil. There are number of grounds where you will find small Ravana, Megnath and Kumbkaran statues. Ramlila is performed around this area. The most famous in Delhi is the Ramlila Maidan.
In Mumbai, the nights are musical, grounds are flanked with people clad in colourful dresses and the streets come alive with the sound of music. On Vijaydashmi, effigies of ten-headed demon Ravana are burnt marking the end of evil and beginning of good.
Shakti peetha temples are seats of adi shakti energy. so they are specially charged spots for shakti worshippers or people devoted to feminine energy or ma parvati. There are total 51 shakti peetha temples in indian sub continent. out of them three and half Shakti Peethas are in Maharashtra.
Significance of Shakti peethas:
What does four Shakti peethas resemble? We can’t tell why Jaganmata categorized these four shaktipeethas into a group. But many devotees gave explanations for this number four. The number four resembles the four parts of holy AUM. A kara, U kara, Ma kara and Mmm kara (Ardha matra). That is why they are also called as “Three and half Shakti peethas”.
Part of AUM
Any other explanations?
Yes. There are many.
According to Yoga shastras and Tantra shastras, Shakti is present in our body in the form of Kundalini. It is described as a female serpent which is sleeping inMuladhara Chakra turning it’s body into three and half (3 1/2) circles. If it is activated with the help of Spiritual practices, it raises and passes to Sahasrara throughSushumna, a small passage in Spinal cord. The three and half folds of Kundalini are compared with the four forms of Shakti present in this list of Four Shakti peethas of Maharashtra.
I heard another important explanation from a devotee of Shakti. These four Shakti peethas are worshiped in Chandi Upasana. Navakshara Mantra and Chandi Yantraare important for Chandi. In that worship, we come across Nanda, Shakambari and Bheema Shaktis. The physical resemblances for them are:
Nanda : Tulja bhavani : Maya
Shakambari: Maha lakshmi : Shakti
Bheema : Renuka : Jnana and
Saptashringi mata is considered as the combined power for these three.
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