Gujarat is incomplete without Garba and Dandiya and that’s why Navratri is the one of the most favourite’s festival of all Gujarati. ‘Nov’ means nine and ‘Ratri’ means nights’ so it stands for nine nights and Navratri is a Sanskrit word. Navaratri is the most popular Sacred Hindu festivals celebrated in many parts of India and internationally. It is the dance festival, which lasts nine nights and people play traditional garb and dandhiya during the festival. The Navaratri festival dedicated to all nine forms of Hindu goddess Durga, feminine divinity. Nine Different forms of goddess Durga is being worshipped during each day of Navaratri. First three days are dedicated to Durga who worshipped as the destroyer of demon Mahishasura. The 4 to 6 days are committed to the Lakshmi and last three days are offered to Goddess Saraswati the goddess of art. Each night, people get together in open ground to play Garba in a circular motion and celebrate with full of happiness. For Dandiya various colour wooden stick is used. Many devotees fast during the Navaratri festival and continue chanting mantras and slokas and worshiping the deity Durga.
Fact About Navratri Festival
When: Navaratri is celebrated on the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin or in the month of September or October.
Where: Navaratri is the major festival of Gujarat But nowadays it is celebrated all over India and outside India also. You can find this festival more vibrant and beautiful in Major cities of Gujarat are Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat ad Rajkot.
Timing: People celebrate Navaratri by playing Garba and Dhandiya from 8 to 12 pm but in many cities and village it lasts till morning 6 or 7 am.
Duration: Navaratri means nine nights. The festival remains nine days and 10th as Vijaya Dashmi or Dashera.
Dedicated to: Hindu Goddess Durga and her nine different form
Main Attraction: The major attraction is Decorated Temples, Colourful Chaniya Cholies, Garba, Dandiya, Aarti and Durga Idols
Significant: Navaratri are performed in order to celebrate the winning of Goddess Durga over Demon Mahisasur
Who comes: Many talented Garba players come from different state of India and also native people come to their village during Navaratri.
The festival has a much religious and traditional significance in Gujarat. In Gujarat, many stories of Navaratri are prevailing in different parts of India. During nine days people do aarti and Pooja each night by getting to gather and play garba and take Prasad. As per some popular legends, there was a powerful demon named Mahishasura. He worshipped Shiva hardly and ask for endless like power. After getting it, he started killing innocent people and wanted to rule all the three lokas. At that time to stop the mahisasur the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva created a female warrior with their powers and named her Durga. Rama battled with ravan for nine days and killed him on the 10th day war so that’s why the 10th day of Navaratri is celebrated of Vijaya Dashmi or Dashera. On this day people made duplicate statue of ravan and burn it and celebrate. According to Hindu calendar Navaratri falls four times a year but this is the major one which is celebrated all over India.
How to Reach There
By Air: The nearest Airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad to reach to Ahmedabad and also there are many other airports are also exits to come in Gujarat for this festival.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kalupur. All cities of Gujarat are well connected with each other. There are many trains available to come to Ahmedabad and other cities.
By Bus: Various private and public transportation is available to reach to Ahmedabad and other major cities of Gujarat for this Navaratri celebration.
By Own Vehicle: There are many different ways to reach to the Ahmedabad from anywhere in Gujarat by own vehicle.
Navaratri is the hot favourite festival in Gujarat and especially for girls. Girls start shopping for Chaniya choli and ornaments and boys shopping for and turbans and kedias for garba before some days of Navaratri. During these nine days girls got ready like a wedding and play Garba with their friends and lovers or husband. Talented people show their attractive style and moves in Garba and Dandiya. There is lots of music and constant noise of sticks and thus all over you can hear during nine nights. People decorate the temples with lights and flowers and perform prayer and evening Aarti each of the day and play garba around the temple. Some woman plays garba with the pot on their head, which is called “Garbi” which is used to signify prosperity. People started garba classes to learn new steps and style. Some people also do fast during nine days and follow special diets for Navaratri. Navaratri is the holy Hindu festival which makes family and friend together with religious feeling. The most favourite spots for Navaratri is Ahmedabad. If you want to feel the real Navaratri spirit, then goes and visit Ahmedabad during Navaratri. The festival has been celebrated in India since ancient times to mark the importance of females and her power.