Navratri begins with great fervour, people throng temples on first day
The auspicious nine-day period of Navratri began on Saturday and devotees thronged temples to offer prayers and seek blessings of the almighty on the auspicious occasion.
Kalkaji temple and Jhandewalan temple in New Delhi were all decked up with flowers as people stood in long queues to attend the first aarti of the nine-day-long festival.
"I am feeling very happy. We have come here to seek blessings of the almighty. We have been standing in the queue for around two hours," said one of the devotees in Kalkaji temple.
People were offered sweets (prasad) after watching the aarti.
Aarti was also performed and people were seen offering prayers even at Mumba Devi temple in Mumbai on the first day of Navratri.
This year, Navratri is being observed from September 29 to October 7.
Navratri in Sanskrit means nine nights in which nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped in a particular order. Alongside observing fast and performing various rituals, preparing a special offering for each day holds symbolic significance.
"Today it's the first day of Navratri and we have come to see the aarti. Maa Jhandewali protects us and blesses us. It's an auspicious day," said another devotee who visited Jhandewalan temple.
Also known as Sharad Navratri, the tenth day of the festival is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashami.
The occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, which signifies the victory of good over evil.
The festival is popularly and prominently celebrated in Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Karnataka.