Hindu Of Universe

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”

The word Navratri is derived from two words; “Nav” means Nine (9) and “Ratri” means Night.

Navratri is the most awaited and widely celebrated Hindu festival, which starts on the very first day of Hindu calendar month, Ashviin (which usually comes in the month of September/October) and held in honour of divine feminine.

And it is celebrated for nine days before the Dussehra (which is the 10th Day).

The tenth day is celebrated as the good over evil (there’s a story behind it, keep reading this article).

Navratri is also called Navaratri.

Do you know that Navratri can occur several times in the year?

Yes, Navratri occurs four times in a year, but Sharad Navratri is considered as the most significant and it is widely celebrated (which mostly arrive in the autumn season, i.e., September or October).

Out of the other three Navratris, one is celebrated in Hindu month, Chaitra, which falls in March- April.

It also symbolizes the beginning of Hindu New Year.

Agni Purana, states that the Chaitra Navratri acts like the jaws of Lord Yamaraj.

By worshipping Mother Goddess, on this Navratri, one is protected from the disfavor of Lord Yamaraj.

Chaitra Navratri puja also acts as a shield from pitra dosh.

Navratri pujas have the potency to nullify any affliction caused by any planet and bestows with Riddhi & Siddhi.

The cosmic activity/Prana Shakti in the universe is at the highest during Navratri.

And the rest two are called as Gupta Navratri and is usually not known the common people.

Gupt Navaratri is also known as Gayatri Navratri.

Gupt Navratri is legendary for all tantrik pujas.

Puja during Gupt Navratri delights Mother Durga and showers Her blessings in variety of wealth, knowledge, affluence and constructive energies.

It is known only to selected few people and those who worship her during this time are highly rewarded.

This festival is celebrated in several ways in various regions of India.

Some people celebrate this festival as triumphs of good over the evil (Durga’s victory over Mahishasura), and some people celebrate it as the victory of Lord Rama over the devil Ravana.

Most North Indians celebrate this festival as the victory of Lord Rama over the devil Ravana through plays (character-based acting) which they name it as Ram Lila.

And on the final day, they burn the Ravana idol which is stuffed with some fireworks/crackers and celebrate it.

It for these nine days the Goddess descends on earth to be among her devotees.

During these nine nights festival, the three forms of the goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi – are invoked.

Maa Durga is worshipped in Her different incarnations for ten days and nine nights during the festival.

It is the most auspicious and powerful period to perform devotional sadhanas and pray to Goddess Durga.

Well, we all know the ancient story of the Ramayana, but now let’s discuss how the Goddesses Durga defeated Mahishasura?

This victory is the main reason this Nine days festival is celebrated.

This legendary festival is celebrated to mark the victory of Goddesses Durga, who fought against the buffalo headed demon, Mahishasura.

Coming to the history, Mahishasura devoted several years in doing Sadhana (intense meditation and spiritual discipline) of Lord Brahma.

Lord Brahma got pleased with his devotion and granted him boon of immortality, but Lord Brahma had put a condition that only a woman can defeat him.

Blessed with such a massive power of immortality, this evil-minded demon started attacking the Triloka (Earth, Heaven and Hell).

He had created a violent situation in entire Triloka, and none of the Gods were able to stand against him, as only a woman could defeat him.

Then, the gods prayed to the trinity of Gods (Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu), to kill this evil demon.

All the three gods came together and decided to create a feminine energy to demolish Mahishasura.

With their combined powers, mother Durga (Shakti) incarnated.

Later, Goddess Shakti (Durga) fought with the Mahishasura for ten days to save the Triloka (earth, heaven, and hell).

On the 10th Day, Mahishasura had transformed into a buffalo, and Goddess Durga attacked the Mahishasura with her weapon (Trishul) and defeated the evil.

That’s the reason, Dussehra is celebrated on the 10th Day of the Ashvin month.

During the Navratri season, nine different avatars of Shakti are worshipped on nine days.

Each day a different avatar of Goddess Durga is honoured.

Here are the nine incarnations of Goddess Durga:

Day 1: Goddess Shailputri

Day 2: Goddess Brahmacharini

Day 3: Goddess Chandraghanta

Day 4: Goddess Kushmanda

Day 5: Goddess Skandamata Day

6: Goddess Katyayani Day

7: Goddess Kaalratri Day

8: Goddess Mahagauri Day

9: Goddess Siddhidatri

How do people celebrate the Navratri Festival?

There are several methods followed by different regions of India.

Navratri is celebrated by Indian people with great devotion and energy for ten days.

Most people worship the idol of Goddess Durga, followed by fasting (only eating vegetarian food and fruits) and perform several activities like Garba and Dandiya.

They start the prayer by worshipping Lord Ganesha and then start praying and worshipping Goddess Durga Devi.

People pray to Goddess Durga Devi for protection and strength to fight against the problems and evil that occurs in their life.

Some people even sacrifice animals for the Goddess (very few places).

People of Gujarat state celebrate this festival in an exquisite way, and they enjoy a lot during this festive season.

Each person is well dressed in a traditional way, and they perform prayers and worship Goddess Durga for ten days.

They perform Garba and Dandiya (it is played with two sticks holding in their hands) after the prayers.

Overall, they celebrate this festival with enthusiasm and devotion.

Ten days of prayer, meditation and chanting during this festive season help us to connect with our soul and fill devotees with positivity and peace.

Let’s celebrate every Navratri with devotion, enthusiasm, and positivity.

Navratri Puja Item List:

There are many pujas to perform during navratri so devotees need to collect lot of items. Here below you can find the list of navratri puja items.

Idol of Goddess Durga
Chunari for Goddess
Laung (Cloves)
Red Cloth
Flower Garland
Akhand Jyot
Mango Leaves
Cardamom (Elaichi)
Diya and Batti
Roli (Red Powder)
Fresh Grass
Green Bangles
Kumkum (Vermilion)
Moli (Red Thread)
Betel leaves (Paan)
Rice to offer
Areca Buts (Supari)
Kalash (Pot)
Soil (Mitti)

Wheat for Kalash Sthapana
Hawan Samagri Packet
Hawan Kund
Durga Saptashati Book
Durga Chalia Book
Durga Kawach Book
Scent (Itra)
Haldi Powder
Shringar Samagri
Ganga Water (Gangajal)
Rui ki Batti
Match Stick

These are some general items, which you should arrange at the puja place. When you sit on the puja aasan you should try not to stand in between puja for arranging items.

According to some specific region or any special ritual, you may have need of some more navratri puja samagri so also ask with your priest too, who is performing puja and hawan for you.

Until the Navratri Puja procedure end, devotees should keep thinking only about Goddess and worship with full devotion.


Navaratri is a nine nights (and ten days) Hindu festival and It is celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent.

There are two seasonal Navaratri in a year.

This festival in this month is called Sharada Navaratri that is the most celebrated for Goddess Durga.

In India, Goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon Mahishasuran to help restore Dharma.

Celebrations include stage decorations, recital of the legend, enacting of the story, and chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism.

The nine days are also a major seasonal and cultural event, and the public celebrations of classical and folk dances of Hindu culture.

On the final day, called the Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as river and ocean, or alternatively the statue symbolizing the evil is burnt with fireworks marking evil’s destruction.

NAME            Unit

Incense Sticks (Agarbatti)  1 unit

Green Cardamom (Elaichi)            25 Gram

Chunri           2 Pieces

Cloves (Lounge/Labang)   25 Gram

Coconut (Nariyal/Srifal)      2 Pieces

Diya & Batti   10 Pieces

Mango Leaves (Aam ke Patte)      1 unit

Fresh Grass  1 unit

Sacred Holy Water (Gangajal)       1 unit

Sudh Ghee (Ghruta )          100 Gram

Red/Green Bangles (Chudiyan)   4 Pieces

Gulal (Rangoli)         1 unit

Honey (Sehad)         1 unit

Idol of Goddes Durga          1 unit

Camohor (Karpoor)  50 Gram

Kumkum (Red Vermilion powder)            1 unit

Moli (Red Sacred Powder) 1 unit

Betel Leaves (Paan patte)  1 unit

Itre (Scent)/Attar       1 unit

Saffron (Keshar)      1 unit

Wheat (Gehun)        100 Gram

Misri ((Sugar Candy)           100 Gram

Saptadhan    100 Gram

Jau (Barley)  100 Gram

Janeu (Holy Sacred Thread)         5 Pieces

White Cloth (Safed Kapda)            1 unit

Turmeric Powder (Haldi)     50 Gram

Dhoop (Cones)        1 unit

Rice (Chawal )         100 Gram

Sandal Wood (Chandan Power)  25 Gram

Sandal Wood (Chandan Power)  25 Gram

Sugar (Shakkar/Chini)        100 Gram

Betel  Nuts (Supari/Areca Nuts)    50 Gram

Red Cloth (Lal Kapde ) 1 unitPuja Samagri used for Navratri Puja

Items used to perform Navratri Puja

Photo or Idol of Goddess Durga of Navdurga
A clay pot with soil
Barley seeds
Red cloth
Five Leaves from Mango tree
Flower garland
10 Coins
Sacred Thread (Moli)
Akshat (raw colored rice)
Oil Lamp
Roli for Tilak
Puja Plate
Durga Saptshati book
Ganga Jal
Supari (Areca nuts)
Paan (Betel leaves)
Kumkum (vermilion)


How to do Navratri Puja at Home?

In India, there are many auspicious religious festivals, and Navratri is one of the most popularly celebrated festivals. It is celebrated with high enthusiasm and energy.

Navratri puja is done with devotion all around India.

Navratri, which means nine auspicious nights, is a religious festival which is celebrated to honour and pray to Goddess Durga.

Navratri is also known as Durga Puja in Kolkata where it is celebrated with great enthusiasm for four days.

On these puja days, people observe fast and spiritual rituals are performed.

If someone wants to perform Navratri puja at home, they can easily do so by following the right methods.

It is essential to know all the customs, rituals, and Navratri Puja Samagri required for Navratri puja at home.

Here, we have jotted down the list of all the essentials you need:-

Things you need to do Navratri Puja-

  • Goddess Durga idol or picture
  • Saree or a red dupatta to offer to Goddess Durga
  • Panjika, or the sacred Hindu book
  • Coconut
  • Sandalwood
  • Fresh mango leaves, wash them before using
  • Paan
  • Supari
  • Ganga water
  • Roli, the red holy powder which is used to put tilak
  • Cardamom
  • Incense sticks
  • Cloves
  • Fruits
  • Sweets
  • Incense sticks
  • Fresh flower to offer to Maa Durga
  • Gulal
  • Vermilion
  • Raw rice
  • Moli, a red sacred thread
  • Grass

These are all the Navratri puja Samagri you would need to do puja at home.

7 Easy Steps to do Navratri Pooja at home?

Step 1: To place the deity (Ghata Sthapana)

Firstly, you have to set Maa Durga idol on a chowki and keep a clay plot near it that has sown barley.

This Ghata Sthapana is the start of the entire puja.

Step 2: Establish the Kalash

Then, you have to pour holy water (Gangajal) and put flowers, mango leaves, and coins on it.

Close it with a lid, and then put raw rice on the top.

Place a coconut that is wrapped in roli (the red clothing).

Step 3: Worship of Goddess Durga

The process of worshipping Durga starts with lighting a Diya in front of the deity. Worship Kalash or Ghat using Panchopchar.

Panchopchar means worshipping the deity with five things, that are – scent, flower, Deepak, incense stick, and Naivedya.

Step 4: Chowki Sthpana

In this process, it is all about invoking Goddess Durga.

You have to spread the roli on the chowki and tie moli across and around it.

Then place the idol of Goddess Durga right on the chowki.

Step 5: Navratri Puja

During Navratri Puja, chanting the prayers and invoke Durga Maa is considered auspicious and it is believed that Maa Durga visits and enlightens your home and blesses your family.

You have to offer flowers, bhog, diya, fruits, etc.

to carry on the ritual of Navratri puja.

Step 6: Aarti

In the process of aarti, decorate a thali with all the Navratri decoration items.

Carry the thali in one and a bell in another.

Sing the aarti song, jingle the bells, and seek blessings from Maa Durga.

Step 7: Inviting and Feeding Goddesses

On the last day or ninth day of Navratri, invite nine girls aged around 5 to 12, and prepare food for them.

hey are called to be Goddesses, and the ritual process is called Kanya puja.

These are the steps that you can follow to do navratri puja at home and bring peace and blessings to the house and your family.

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Navratri Puja Vidhi – Nav Durga Puja With Mantra For Navratri

Navratri puja is most popular Indian festival in which Nav Durga Puja is done in every home.

Nav Durga Puja is worship of 9 forms of Durga.

These Nav Durga are nine divine feminine forces.

They creates (srishti), maintain (Sthiti) and destroys (Sanhar) the creation.

These Nav Durga are, Shailputri, Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.

Each Devi amongst Nav Durga is associated with specific day (tithi) of Navratri. Therefore, worship of that Durga on that particular day of Navratri gives best results.

Navratri Puja – How Nav Durga Puja Vidhi Is Based On Day?

Nav Durga Puja during Navratri is very easy.

First, you should know which Nav Durga is associated with which day of Navratri. Here is the list of Nav Durga associated with particular day (tithi) of Navratri :
1st day of Navratri : Shailputri
2nd Day of Navratri : Brahmcharini
3rd Day of Navratri : Chandraghanta
4th Day of Navratri : Kushmanda
5th Day of Navratri : Skandmata
6th Day of Navratri : Katyayani
7th Day of Navratri : Kalratri
8th Day of Navratri : Mahagauri
9th Day of Navratri : Siddhidatri

Now, if you know basic Ghat Sthapna and General Puja of Maa Durga during Navratri, then you are ready to learn Nav Durga Puja.

But, if you are new to Navratri Puja, see this Easy Navratri Puja Vidhi first.

Nav Durga Puja Vidhi With Mantra and Easy Hawan At Home

Step-by-Step Nav Durga Puja During Navratri at Your Home

First do general daily puja of Maa Durga as you do.

Also, you can do it according to above said Easy Navratri Puja Vidhi.

Then worship specific form of Nav Durga on their respective day with following Mantras to please them :

1. Shailputri Puja on First Day of Navratri :

Shailputri is the name of form of Maa Durga when she incarnated as daughter of King of Mountains Himachal.

Shail means mountain and putri means daughter.

Her lustre is said equal to crores of moons.

She rides on a Bull named Nandi. Her head is adorned with half-moon.

She has a trident in her one hand and varmudra in other hand.

Mantra of worship of Shailputri Devi are :
( i ) Om Devi Shailputryai Swaha (ॐ देवी शैल्पुत्र्यै स्वाहा) (Do 108 recitation of this mantra)
( ii ) Vande Vanchhit Laabhaay, Chandrardhkritshekharaam | Vrisharudham Shooldharaam Shailputriim Yashaswinim ||

Which means, I worship Goddess Shailputri to fulfill my wishes, who is adorned with half moon on her head, rides on a bull, carry a trident and is illustrious.

2. Brahmcharini Puja on Second Day of Navratri :

Brahmcharini is form of Maa Durga when she was incarnated as the daughter of King Daksh.

Her name was sati in that incarnation and her unmarried form is worshipped as Brahmcharini Devi.

She has rosary (Mala) and Kamandalu in her lotus hands.

She gives eternal bliss by knowledge of Supreme Self (God).

Mantra for worship of Devi Brahmcharini are :
( i ) Om Devi Brahmcharinyai Namah (ॐ देवी ब्रह्म्चरिण्यै नमः) (Do 108 recitation of this mantra)
( ii ) Dadhaanaa Kar Padmaabhyaamakshmala Kamandaloo | Devi Prasidatu Mayi Brahmcharinyanuttamaa.

Which means, O Goddess Brahmcharini, who holds rosary and Kamandalu in her hands, please on me.

A devotee who is eager to know God, who want knowledge, he should worship Devi Brahmcharini on the second day of Navratri.

3. Chandraghanta Puja on Third Day of Navratri :

Chandraghanta is form of Maa Durga who rides on Tiger.

She holds a Gong (big bell) and adorned with half moon on head.

Mantra for worship of Devi Chandraghanta is as follows :
( i ) Om Devi Chandraghantayayi Namah (ॐ देवी चन्द्रघन्टायै नमः) (Do 108 recitation of this mantra)
( ii ) Pindaj Pravaarudh chandkopastrkairyuta | Prasadam Tanute Madhyam Chandraghanteti vishrutaa ||

Which means, O Goddess Chandraghanta, who rides on Tiger, angry on enemies, holds many weapons in 10 hands, please on me.

Devotees who have many enemies and obstacles in their life, should worship Devi Chandraghanta on third day of Navratri.

Goddess Chandraghanta then destroy all obstacles and fears of devotee and destroy enemies and demons.

4. Kushmanda Puja on Fourth Day of Navratri :

Kushmanda is the form of Goddess Durga which creates universe. Goddess Kushmanda rides on Lion.

She hold weapons in her seven hands, holds rosary in eighth hand.

Mantra for worship of Goddess Kushmanda is :
( i ) Om Devi Kushmandayayi Namah (ॐ देवी कूष्माण्डायै नमः) (Do 108 recitation of this mantra)
( ii ) Suraasampoorna Kalasham Rudhiraaplutamev Cha | Dadhaanaa Hastpadmaabhyaam Kushmanda Shubhdaastu Me ||

Which means, Goddess Kushmanda who holds two pitchers full of Madira and Blood in her lotus hands, be propitious to me.

Goddess Kushmanda is Mother of Sun.

She creates the entire universe and solar system. Devotees must worship her in order to get success in her creation.

Devotees who has malefic Sun in their birth chart should worship Kushmanda Devi.

5. Skandmata Puja on Fifth Day of Navratri :

Skandmata is the form of Goddess Durga when she take incarnation of Parvati and gave birth to Lord Skanda or Kartikeya.

She is known by her sons name as Skandmata.

Skandamata rides on Lion with six faced Kartikeya on her lap.

The mantra for worship of Goddess Skandamata is :

( i ) Om Devi Skandmatayayi Namah (ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नमः)(Do 108 recitation of this mantra)
( ii ) Sinhaasangataam Nityam Padmaanchit Kardwayaa | Shubhdaastu Sadaa Devi Skandmata Yashaswini ||
Which means, Skandmata who rides on Lion with Kartikeya, holds lotus in her two hands and Varmudra in one hand, be propitious to me.

Skandmata take care of a devotee as her own child.

Devotees must worship Skandamata specifically if they have many obstacles in life.

Skandmata then take care of devotee as her own child and remove his all obstacles.

6. Katyayani Puja on Sixth Day of Navratri :

Goddess Durga took incarnation as Katyayani, when Indian Rishi Katyayan meditate on Goddess to destroy demons.

Goddess Durga incarnated in his home as his daughter, named Katyayani.

According to Durga Saptshati, Goddess Katyayani is Mahasaraswati.

Goddess Katyayani holds weapons in her 10 hands, rides on Lion.

 She has three eyes and adorned with half moon on head.

Katyayani Mantra for worship in Navratri is :
( i ) Om Devi Katyayanyayi Namah (ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नमः) (Do 108 recitation of this mantra)
( ii ) Chandrahaasojjval Karaa Shaardoolvarvaahanaa | Katyayani Shubham Dadyaad Devi Daanavghatini ||
Which means, Devi Katyayani who holds Chandrahaas Sword and other weapons in her ten hands, rides on Lion, and destroying demons, be propitious to me.

7. Kalratri Puja on Seventh Day of Navratri :

Kalratri is incarnation of Goddess in which she removed her golden skin and became lustrous black colored.

She is naked, rides on an ass.

She holds sword and Varmudra in two right hands.

She holds a torch and abhaya mudra in left two hands.

She is the Master of Hypnotism.

Kalratri Mantra for worship during Navratri is :
( i ) Om Devi Kalratryayi Namah (ॐ देवी कालरात्र्यै नमः) (Do 108 Recittaion of this Kalratri Mantra)
( ii ) Ekveni Japakarnpoora Nagna Kharaasthita | Lamboshthi Karnika karni Tailaabhyaktshariirini ||
Vaam Paadollasallohlata Kantakbhushanaa | Bardhan Moordham Dhwajaa Krishnaa Kalratrirbhayankari ||

This is the mantra to meditate on her.

This mantra describes her form.

She is naked, rides on ass.

She has long lips and lustrous body.

She is wearing ornaments in legs like lightning.

She is black in color and has unlocked hair, big eyes and ears.

She is very dangerous looking.

Meditating on this form of Kalratri removes all obstacles as well as removes all magical effects created by others.

8. Mahagauri Puja on Eighth Day of Navratri :

Mahagauri is the 16 years old form of unmarried Goddess Parvati.

She rides on bull, holds trident and damru in two hands.

She have varamudra and abhayamudra in other two hands.

She wears pure white cloths.

Her face is white like moon.

Mantra for worship of Mahagauri during Navratri is :

( i ) Om Devi Mahagauryayi Namah (ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः) (Do 108 Recitation of Mahagauri Mantra)
( ii ) Shwete Vrishesamarudha Shwetaambardhara Shuchih | Mahagauri Shubham Dadyanmahadev Pramodadaa ||

Which means, Goddess Mahagauri who rides on white bull, wear pure white clothes, giver of happiness, be propitious to me.

9. Siddhidatri Puja on Ninth Day of Navratri :

Siddhidatri is master of eight siddhis and nine nidhis.

Siddhidatri took incarnation when goddess Parvati enters in half body of Lord Shiva.

Siddhidatri is Seated on Red Lotus and She also rides on Lion.

She has Conch, Chakra, Lotus and Gada in her four hands. Dev, Humans, Brahmins, Demons, Kinnars are all worshipping her.

Siddhidatri Mantra for worship during Navratri is :
( i ) Om Devi Siddhidatryayi Namah (ॐ देवी सिद्धिदात्र्यै नमः) (Do 108 Recititation of Siddhidatri Mantra)
( ii ) Siddha Gandharva Yakshdyairasurairamarairapi | Sevyamaanaa Sadabhuyaat Siddhida Siddhidayini ||

Which means, Goddess Siddhidatri, who is worshipped by Siddha, Gandharva, Yaksh, Gods, Demons etc., holds Conch, Chakra, Gada and Lotus in her hands, giver of all siddhis and victory all over, be propitious to me.

Devotee must worship Goddess Siddhidatri on ninth day of Navratri because she gives the results of nine days worship.

Note : On Eighth day you should give invitation to nine girls of age group of 5 to 12 for food on ninth day.

On ninth day, prepare food for them.

The special menu for this day is Halwa, Poori and Chana.

Many people make Kadhi and Kheer also.

Feed the girls with full of love and devotion considering them Nav Durga (nine form of Goddess).

After food, give them some dakshina, i.e. money, gifts, clothes etc.

whatever you wish and with which these girls are pleased.

This way you complete Nav Durga Puja on Navratri Festival.

Nav Durga Puja During Navratri by Reciting Durga Saptashati

During Navratri, read the holy book Durga Saptashati. Durga Saptashati is the glory of majesty of Mother Goddess Durga, which she expressed in battlefield.

Goddess Durga herself said in Durga Saptashati that, she pleases equally with a devotee, who listen or remember her story of bravery in battlefield during Navratri and a devotee who do worship for the whole year with full methodology.

Even she please with a devotee who worship her without knowing her method of worship.

A devotee who recite Durga Saptashati considering her as mother, she removes all obstacles in life and also gives spiritual knowledge to become free from all bondages.

What you can do to celebrate Navratri Festival in your home?

You can celebrate Navratri festival at your home with your family.

On first day, do Ghat Sthapna at your home.

Get the holy book Durga Saptshati and recite it’s chapters daily for nine days.

8th day invite 1 to 9 girls as much as you can for ninth day.

Feed them and give some gifts.


India is a country that loves to celebrate and there are some festivities that stem from religious beliefs and customs – there are plenty of situations where the decorative pooja thali has to be taken out and the lights need to be hung up and sweets need to be prepared.

Navaratri has to be one of those festivals, when you are getting ready for the pooja and decorating your home, but also getting ready to indulge in some Navratri shopping.
The nine days of Navaratri are important on several levels – one, this is a celebration that takes place in almost every part of the country and while the method and style of celebrating it might vary a little from each state to the other, the sense of devotion and joy does not.

There are actually specific reasons why the festival is celebrated for nine days and each day has a specific purpose and a particular style of celebration.
In this blog, we are going to look at what makes Navratri puja special in the north and western parts of India and how the festivities and Durga puja shopping vary from other parts of the country.

Navratri, technically comes four times in a year, however, it is the Sharada Navratri and the Chaitra Navratri that are considered the most important.

While the former comes during the autumn equinox time period, the latter comes towards the spring time.

The Sharad or Sharada Navratri is considered the most important, because it is believed that this is an astrologically powerful time.

It is also believed that Ma Shakti, who drives the natural order of things is in the most woken of states, which is why, she needs to be worshipped with certain rituals.

By appeasing Durga maa, you will have blessing from her other forms, which include Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom.

Navratri preparations and celebrations:

Before you can start the process of the pooja, you need to make sure that you get all the Navratri pooja samagri ready first – the first thing that you will want to buy is a Goddess Durga idol or a Mata Rani statue.

You can also choose to pick a photo or painting of the goddess, in case you don’t want to buy an idol. next, you will need red coloured clothes (dupatta or saree), items of shringar (sindoor, bangles, bracelets, comb and mirror), you will also need fresh flowers and leaves, ideally red flowers.

Other ingredients that you will need for the pooja are saffron, sandalwood, turmeric, rice, cardamom and cloves, honey, sugar and coconut.

Finally, the list of ingredients and materials that are almost constant for all kinds of pooja – a kalash filled with water, mauli, betel leaves and nuts lotus seeds, brass diyas, oil, cotton wicks, dhoop, agarbatti, asana and fresh fruits and sweets.
Before any of the preparations, you need to ensure that the whole house has been cleaned out and then you need to get the Navratri puja kalash ready.

  • You can either place a combination of seven different grains or any one inside the kalash and you need to add some clean soil to the kalash as well. This step is called the Ghatasthapana and needs to be done at an auspicious time.
  • The kalash can be made of clay or copper, depending on what is available at hand and place it near the chowki on which the photo or idol of Durga is kept.
  • To the kalash, you will next add, Gangajal, sandalwood, turmeric, rice, betel nuts, durva grass, leaves that have not been cut and a few flowers.
  • Finally, you can place a coconut on top of the kalash and in case you don’t have a coconut, you can garland the kalash.
  • Light a diya and do the pooja with five things – diya, dhoop, flowers, agarbatti and sweets/fruits, all the things that you would have with your Navratri samagri.
  • You can either place a red dupatta or red cloth on top of the idol or place it under the photo of Durga and pray to her for good health and fortune.
  • Aarti needs to be performed every day and every day, you need to offer some water to the kalash. You can either recite the chants or play a tape during the aarti time.
  • On Ashtami or the 8th day (some people prefer to do it on the Navami or 9th day), girls who are yet to start their menstrual cycle are invited home as goddesses. Their feet have to be washed and they have to be fed good food and then given money and gifts, in exchange of their blessings. This ritual is known as Kanya pooja or kanchak.
  • On the very last day, the kalash has to be given a send-off or a visarjan, into a water body, but only after a pooja has been done and thanks have been offered to Durga ma.

Durga Pooja celebrations – what all you need and have to do:

In the Bengali culture, the 9 days of Navratri are the time for absolute celebration – while there is prayer and penance, there is also immense festivity. For the Bengali people, a Goddess Durga Mata wall hanging is a fixture, it’s something that you will find in every home where a Bengali resides. You will see either a photo, a painting, a mask or a Durga statue in a location of obvious attention. In West Bengal and the areas surrounding it, such as Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam, the nine days dedicated to the nine versions of Durga are days of celebration and rejoicing.
Like is the case with Ganpati, a Durga maa clay idol will be placed on the first day of the festivities and through the nine days, special prayers and programs will be offered. On the final day, there is visarjan, wherein the idol is submerged in water, with a prayer that she returns the next year, bringing the same amount of joy and festivities. Unlike the north Indian version of Navaratri, where individual homes will have a kalash and pooja, Durga Pooja is more of a community celebration – large pandals are setup all over the state, where you will get to see large idols of Durga. The visarjan of the idols are just as elaborate and festive as Ganpati visarjan – there is music, dancing and much joy!

  • However, there are some poojas that are done at home and the major ones happen one week before Mahalaya or the navratris, when the Durga ma is requested to come down to Earth, to be amongst the people who love and worship her.
  • After the installation of the idol, on Saptami, there is a ritual called as the Pran Pratisthan – a small banana plant is bathed and dressed up to the nines, and this plant is meant to absorb all the energies and divinity that the goddess embodies.
  • The next day, that is Ashtami, the same plant is worshipped in the form of a virgin or Kumari, to maintain the purity of the female form and energy.
  • On the ninth day, there is a Maha Arti and on the final day, Dashami, the goddess is returned to her husband’s home, by way of immersion. On this day, women dress up in the traditional white and red saree and smear sindoor on each other, as a symbol of marital bliss and fertility.

In case you are planning to do pooja at home, you will need more than just a Durga maa idol for home – you will need a kalash, hibiscus flowers, rice, milk, curd, ghee, sugar, honey, panchamrit, fruits and sweets to name a few. Once all these ingredients are ready, there are almost 16 steps:

  • The process begins with invoking the goddess and meditating on her energies, followed by offering her pushapanjali or offering of flowers.
  • Water is offered to wash her feet and then scented water as well as water that she could drink is offered. Water as an offering to bath her comes next and then she is offered new clothes and jewellery.
  • Next offerings include sandalwood, kumkum and kajal, followed by saubhagya sutra, scent, turmeric and akshata. These are followed by offerings of flowers, Bilvapatra, dhoop, light of the lamp, naivedya and rituphala (fruits of the season). Final offerings include coconut and betel leaves with betel nuts. Finally, dakshina (this could be in the form of money or gifts) is offered to the goddess. A lot of people choose home decor items as dakshina, because these can be used later on.
  • On days that follow, there are specific poojas for books (Saraswati pooja), lamp (deep poojan) and young girls (kanya pooja).
  • On the final days, there are salutations to the goddess and asking for forgiveness.

Whether you choose to have an elaborate pooja with all the havan samagri for Navratri or you like to keep it simple and small scale, there are actually benefits of doing the poojas at home. Not only do they fill the home with positivity, the usage of incense and other similar ingredients can help purify the air. By doing the pooja, you are inviting good health, wealth and prosperity into your home.