Places to visit in India to celebrate the auspicious festival of Navratri

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Navratri is an auspicious festival in Hindu mythology and brings with it prosperity and festival spirit across the country. The festivities, which celebrate Goddess Durga, have different rituals and customs across India but the festival vibes remain the same.

The different customs and rituals are what make the country rich in diversity. In the North, the people celebrate the festival of Navratri by keeping fasts and enjoying the Ram Leela melas across the districts, whereas in the West people celebrate the festival of Durga Pooja and celebrate the nine days of Maa Durga with poojas, pandals and mela.

To witness the culturally rich diversity and feel the festival vibes across the country, here are a few places to enjoy the Navratri festival with different kinds of celebrations.

1. Gujarat

The land of garbas and authentic Gujarati Mela's and dandiya nights. One of the best places in India to celebrate and experience the Navratri festivities, these Garba nights host lakhs of people in one go. Men and women dress in their colourful best and groove to live music, which is a mix of Gujarati folk songs and popular Bollywood movie tracks.

2. Maharashtra

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Celebrations of Navratri in Maharashtra resemble the celebrations in Gujarat. The Maharashtrian women invite their female friends to their home and give them coconut, betel nuts and betel leaves as gifts. Garbha and Dandiya nights are popular in almost every locality in the state of Maharashtra. In big cities like Mumbai, people go gaga over disco Dandiya nights.
It is a colourful, vibrate festival celebrated with high vibes and enjoyment.

3. West Bengal

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Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja in the East Indian state of Bengal. The last four days of Navratri are celebrated with extreme fervour, and the whole Paschim Banga is adorned with vibrant colours and lights. It is believed that goddess Durga descends from heaven to her maternal home on earth, and she is welcomed with much warmth and love. Huge pandals are decorated during Durga Puja and life-sized idols of Durga are worshipped. The tenth day of Navratri is celebrated as Durga’s victory over evil.

4. Andhra Pradesh

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Navratri is celebrated as “Bathukamma Panduga" meaning ‘Come Alive Mother Goddess’ in Andhra Pradesh. Navratri celebration is dedicated to the goddess Gauri, and the idol of the goddess is enshrined in a flower stack called Bathukamma. It is not only one of the most important, but also the biggest festival in Andhra Pradesh, especially in the Telangana region.

5. Himachal Pradesh

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The Hindus of Himachal celebrate Navratri with utmost devotion. The tenth day of the Navratri celebration is known as Kullu Dussehra in Himachal, and it marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. Himachal is one of the most spectacular places to experience the celebrations of Navratri.
Kullu Valley is the epicentre of activity for seven days, as the state celebrates Kullu Dussehra. The festivities centre around Lord Raghunath on the fairground of Dhalpur Maidan, and these celebrations come to an end when a heap of wood and grass is set on fire on the banks of the river Beas.

6. Bastar, Chhattisgarh

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Chhattisgarh has its unique way of celebrating the festival of Navratri. The tribals here celebrate the local goddess Devi Mavli (Devi Maoli), as she meets her other sisters. The celebrations last for 75 days, with people from neighbouring towns reaching the Danteshwari Temple in Jagdalpur to take part in the celebrations.
The deities are carried in beautifully decorated chariots that are made by local artisans. The people sing and dance to celebrate this festival.

7. North India: Delhi and Punjab

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The people of Delhi and Punjab fast for seven days to please Maa Durga and on the 8th or 9th day (anyone), Ashtami or Ram Navami, this fast is broken, and young girls are worshipped. They are given gifts of food, clothes, and money and their blessings are sought for good luck.

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