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India celebrates colours of Navratri, grandeur of Durga Puja, and triumph of good over evil

Shruti Kedia
17th Oct 2018
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Come October, and India gets wrapped up in the festive spirit — pandals pop up in all by-lanes, street food takes centrestage for dinner, street hawkers have colourful firkis (paper windmills) to sell as also plastic sunglasses for children, balloons and kaleidoscopes.

Be it the Bengali Durga Puja, Gujarati dandiya and garba nights, the grand Mysore Dasara celebrations, or the Ramlila with the burning of Ravana's effigy — the ten-day Navratri festival brings the country together in the triumph of good over evil.
Navi Mumbai displays the ferocity of Goddess Durga, reminding us of her strength and the triumph of good over evil. Image Credit: Sohini Mitter

 

Born to a sage, Madhya Pradesh celebrates Katyayana, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, who is shown to exhibit courage which is symbolised by the colour orange. Image Credit: Anand Singh

 

Image Credit: Pradip Agarwal

 

This unique design depicting the infinite love and empowerment of the Goddess was showcased in Dhubri, Assam. Image Credit: Subham Adhikary

 

Here Goddess Durga is showcased as an embodiment of a complete family with Lord Shiva depicted as the third eye on her forehead. Image Credit: Pradip Agarwal

 

An eco friendly pandal in Kolkatta. Image Credit: Pradip Agarwal

 

Several residential colonies have their own pandals in West Bengal. Image Credit: Abhishek Nandi

 

An embodiment of strength and empowerment, Goddess Durga is worshipped in her multiple avatars during the festivities. Image Credit: Sohini Sarkar

It is believed that during the festivities, Goddess Durga comes to her paternal home with her children. Eco-friendly pandals with goddess statues decorated with natural paints, pandals depicting the majestic Chittorgarh Fort as seen in the period film Padmaavat, or even the Jubak Brinda Durga Puja pandal in north Kolkata that paid a tribute to Sonagachi's sex workers—each statue, carving, glamour and shine of the goddess highlights the craftsmanship of potters and artistes.

 

At Saltlake, Kolkatta, an artist designs the head of the demon. Image Credit: Rima Ray

 

These elaborate embellishments adorned the Dum Dum Tarun Dal pandal, Kolkata. Image Credit: Kushal Chakraborty

 

With bright colours, the entrance of the pandal is set to welcome visitors. Image Credit: Rima Ray

 

A library-themed pandal in Kolkata. Image Credit: Dibyoo

 

With the theme of Bisorjon, the pandal at Chetla Agrani, in Kolkata, is hosting singer Salim Hassan Chisti, a singer at the Dargah of Salim Chishti. Here the goddess and the other idols are visible as reflections on the projector. Image Credit: Rounak Bhowmick

 

The artists' expressions are visible even behind the grand statue. Image Credit: Ashlo Pujo

 

The replica of Chittorgarh Fort in Kolkata. Image Credit: Rahul Samanta

 

The rooftop is adorned with delicate designs and grand chandeliers. Image Credit: Aishwarya Singh

Music and dance, synonymous with Indian festivals, are the essence of this festival. Garba and dandiya raas — the high energy dance form from Gujarat — are organised across cities in reverence to the goddess.

 

 

Women in Bengaluru welcome the Durga Puja with Sindoor Khela. Image Credit: Picxy

 

Celebrations on the streets of Vijaywada. Image Credit: Picxy

 

At the Jathara Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada. Image Credit: Picxy

While celebrations across the states might differ, the message of this festival is the same — the triumph of good over evil. The Mysore Palace celebrates the killing of demon Mahishasura, who was slaughtered by Goddess Chamundeshwari - a form of Goddess Durga - in Mysore.

The majestic form of Goddess Durga as she slays the Mahishasura. Image Credit: Supriti Gayen

 

The burning of the ten-headed Ravana takes place on Dusshera, or Vijay Dashami. Image Credit: Pradip Agarwal

 

(L-R) The Navratri dolls display in Karnataka. Image Credit: Vibha Simha and Jaya.

 

In Karnataka, people decorate their home with art dolls called Gombe. Image Credit: Anand Prasad

 

In Tamil Nadu, people celebrate the festival with Golu dolls, which include gods, goddesses, animals, birds and rural life all in a miniature design. Image Credit: R Induja

 

In Andhra Pradesh, women produce Bathukamma- an artistic flower decoration-driven event - as an offering to the goddess. Image Credit: Picxy


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