(Pics) Festivals across India: Meet the evil destroyer in many forms

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Bangalore, Oct 7: The most important festival in West Bengal, Durga Puja has become a symbol of eradication of the evil in many states now, especially in the wake of increasing rapes across the country. Theme based Pujas are very common in Kolkata, but what is expected to be the crowd puller this year is the clear message of....STOP RAPE. While a particular idol of Durga in Salt Lake is seen killing the Mahisasur (who is a suited-booted rapist eyeing a woman), the Bhawanipur puja organizers have weaved a handloom saree of 5 kilometer to show that the dignity of a woman should always be preserved.

Navratra, another form of festival that takes place during the same time as Durga Puja, celebrates the goddess Sherawali. The destroyer of evil, even this festival witnesses some of the most unique concepts. In Indore, for instance, a 2-km long chunri was woven for the goddess. Jammu and Kashmir, on the other hand saw a colourful carnival of dancers on its first day in Katra.

It is not just the 'Shakti' that is celebrated during these days; Tirupati celebrates the Brahmotsav, which witnesses grand procession of Lord Venkateshwara. An incarnation of Vishnu, the lord is also considered the destroyer of evil. On this day, Lord Malayappa Swami is taken out for a procession, chanting 'yagnas' and pujas being performed. The Lord is hailed for saving the divinity and the evil during tehe churning of the Mandhara mountain for ambrosia.

The 9-day long celebrations do not just mark festivities, but also hail the divine power for the betterment of the society and for uprooting the evil that lies within.

In Kolkata

Widows of Vrindavan visit a Durga Puja pandal during Navratri festival in Kolkata on Monday.

In Kolkata

Widows of Vrindavan take part in a Durga Puja procession during Navratri festival in Kolkata on Monday.

In Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurating goddess Durga puja in Kolkata on Sunday.

In Tirumala

Sacred golden Chinna Sesha Vahana procession of Lord Venkateswara being taken out on the second day of Brahmotsavam at Tirumala in Tirupati on Sunday.

In Jammu

Dancers perform during a procession on the occassion of the first day of Navratri festival in Katra, about 45 kms from Jammu, on Saturday.

In Kolkata

Members of BPL families queue up outside a ration shop to take kerosene at subsidies rates for Durga Puja in Kolkata on Sunday. The West Bengal government is giving extra kerosene to BPL families during the puja.

In Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurates the first Puja at South Kolkata on Saturday evening during Durga puja festival.

In Kolkata

Idols of Goddess Durga being taken to the puja pandels for the upcoming Durga puja festival in Kolkata on Sunday.

In Sangli

Girls dress up traditionally for a procession of goddess Durga to mark the festival of Navratri at Sangli on Saturday.

In Mumbai

Devotees carry an idol of goddess Durga to a 'pandal' for the upcomming Navratri festival in Mumbai on Wednesday.

In Ahmedabad

Young girls rehearse Garba ahead of nine-day Navratri festival in Ahmedabad on Friday night.

In Ahmedabad

Artists rehearse for the Vibrant Navratri festival in Ahmedabad on Friday night.

In Mangalore

Devotees carry an idol of Goddess Sharada to install at Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatheshwara temple during Navratri festival in Mangalore on Saturday.

In Kolkata

People shop for Durga Puja festival at a market in Kolkata on Wednesday.

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