Nation celebrates Navaratri festival with fervour

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Srinagar/New Delhi, Apr 6: A large number of people are quite elated to be able to celebrate the Navaratri with traditional gaiety and fervour. Devotees thronged temples across the country on Sunday to offer prayers on the first day of the nine-day festival of 'Navaratri'.

In Srinagar, Hindus took out a procession from the Katleshwar temple to the temple of Mata Sharika Devi, traversing a distance of 10 kilometers around the city. The devotees celebrated their New Year or 'Navreh', which falls on the first day of the Chaitra Navratri according to the Hindu calendar. "It is a good thing that after about 20-22 years, we are taking out this procession here and everybody is very happy about it," said Sanjay Kak, a devotee.

Meanwhile, scores of devotees thronged the famous Jhandewalan temple in New Delhi to offer prayers and seek blessings of the Goddess Durga.

Early morning rituals were performed to mark the festival, symbolising the triumph of good over evil.

Most of the Hindu devotees observe fasts during the nine-day festival and consume only fruits and milk in their meals, avoiding cereals.

Goddess Durga is worshipped throughout the country in different forms.

Durga stands for "shakti" or power. She is depicted as riding a raging lion, holding weapons in her ten hands.

Known as Vasantha Navaratri, it is celebrated during Vasantha Ruthu, which means beginning of summer in March or April. This Navaratri is mainly celebrated in North India. Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu observes Navaratri during this period.


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