Navratri Celebration In Different Parts Of India – Part 3
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Celebrations In Southern India
The “Kolu” celebration of Navratri in Tamil Nadu is celebrated as “Batukamma Panduga” in Andhra Pradesh, which means “Come Alive Mother Goddess”. The nine nights are dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Women make a beautiful flower stack known as “Batukamma”, which is arranged with seasonal flowers. Women wear new saree and jewellery, perform puja in front of the Batukamma for 9 days and then on the last day they set afloat their Batukammas in a lake or any other water body.
In Tamil Nadu, Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshiped during the Navratri. As Navratri is of nine days, the first three days are dedicated to Durga, the next three to Lakshmi and the final three days to Goddess Saraswati. Women belonging to the Iyer community invite married women to their homes in the evenings and gift them with accessories like bangles, earrings and other items that are symbolic of their marital status. A coconut, beetle leaves and beetle nuts, and money are also given as gifts to these women. A special recipe called ‘Sundal’ made of lentil seeds and pulses is made on each day and served to the guests. There is a very interesting thing about Navratri in Tamil Nadu that is “Kolu”. It is a staircase having 9 stairs, representing the 9 nights and each stair is decorated with beautiful dolls, and idols of gods and goddesses. It is said that the dolls that are used are handed over from generation to generation. Read more about Kolu
In Kerala, the Navratri is celebrated on the last three days that are Ashthami, Navami and Dashmi. This is an important festival for the people of Kerala. As we all know that in India, the highest literacy rate is in Kerala so the people of this state believe that this is the best time to learn new things and gain knowledge. The people place books and musical instruments in front of Goddess Saraswati’s idol on the day of Ashtami. The books are worshiped by the people. They pray to Goddess Saraswati to bless them with more knowledge. They take the books out on the Tenth day to read them.
The Saraswati temple at Kottayam is a major attraction during this period as devotees throng to take a dip in the mysterious holy pond whose source is yet unknown. At Thekkegram in Palghat, there are no idols but mirrors which reflect the image of the devotee. One has to bow before own reflection in the mirror, which indicates that God is within us. Ponnani’s famous Durga Temple, the Thrikkavu Temple , is renowned for Navratri celebrations and vidyarambham (beginning of formal education).
In Karnataka, the Navratri is celebrated in the same way as it was celebrated in the times of Raja Wodeyar in the 1610. The people follow the trend which was followed by the great Vijayanagara dynasty during these nine nights. The trend is called `Naada Habba’. However, the basic reason for the celebrations remains the same – victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasur, who happened to be a resident of Mysore. The rituals include elephants’ procession on the streets, including fairs and exhibitions of handicrafts and artifacts.
Goddess Chamundeswari is the family deity of the Royal House of Mysore and during Dussehra; caparisoned elephants carry her idol in procession across the streets. The famous Mysore Palace is illuminated with lights for a month marking the joy and gaiety of the festival. Many cultural performances are presented before the king in the Durbar Hall of the Palace. The whole city is decorated with bright light and colorful patterns for ten days. In fact, many people visit Mysore from all over the country to watch this vibrant event. There is also a floating festival in the temple tank at the foot of Chamundi Hill and a procession of chariots around the temple at the top.
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