September 28, 2014

NAVRATRI 2014

DUSSEHRA CELEBRATIONS AT DEVAMBASTI


This year, September 26 marks the beginning of the 10 day Hindu festival of Dussehra. Legend has it that Goddess Durga fought the demon Mahisasura for 9 nights before slaying him on the tenth day. Though I have not spoken about it on this blog earlier, we have a temple dedicated to the Goddess in our native place of Murudeshwar where the daily pooja is done by my paternal grand father Dada. The temple is known as Devambasti or the 'House of Deviamma'. We have been worshiping the two principal deities - Durga Mahasati and Deviamma for over several generations. Anyway, I will write more about the temple and its history in the coming months. Being a Devi temple, Navratri is a big occasion for us and most of my relatives come to the temple to take the blessings of the Goddesses, especially on the tenth day when festivities are at its peak. Unfortunately, we cannot go there this year as we are leaving for a family trip to Rajasthan in the coming week.

Each day during the course of the festival, Goddess Durga (the one on the top) is decorated in a different style to commemorate her numerous avataars, each with a distinct style. Dada takes great pains to see that the alankaar is done properly. In these matters he is a perfectionist and the process of decoration may take up to two to three hours. Meanwhile, Deviamma or Devamma as we generally refer to her as, is draped in a new cloth. I will try and post pictures of the alankaars over all the days.

Happy Dussehra to you all. May the Goddess bless you with all the happiness, knowledge and strength.


PS: The pictures in this post were clicked by Raghuvendra Gaitonde.