Pune comes alive for Navratri celebrations

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Pune:  Navratri festival, which celebrates the nine forms of shakti (goddess), will commence from Friday, and the city has come alive with a festive feel. Navratri represents the celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of deity in the form of shakti.

The goddess fought demon Mahishasur for nine nights and this triumph is celebrated as Navratri.

The city, which has become a melting point for various communities, will celebrate the festival with vitality. The Navratri festival is celebrated four times in a year: Vasanta Navratri, Ashadhi Navratri, Sharad Navratri and Magha Navratri.

Of these, Sharad Navratri in the month of Ashwin (September-October) is considered of great significance.

In Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated with the famous Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance, while in Bengal it is celebrated as a community festival and huge idols of the goddess killing Mahishasur are installed. In South India, people prepare elaborate golus, which are steps with small idols placed on them.

Tambdi Jogeshwari

Tambdi Jogeshwari, the gramdaivat (village deity) of Pune, celebrates the festival in a traditional manner. Trustee Vinayak Bendre belongs to the family which has been performing the puja for more than 300 years. He said, "We will celebrate the festival from October 8 to 17.'' The Ashtami havan will begin at 12.30 am on the eighth day of the festival and will finish at 5 am the next day,'' he said.

Mahalakshmi temple, Sarasbaug

At Mahalakshmi temple in Sarasbaug, industrialist Abhay Firodia will install the idol of the goddess at 8 am, said temple chief trustee Amita Agarwal. She said for nine days, there will be abhishek and stree sukta recitation in the temple. Every day, couples perform puja at the temple for 10 days in one hour batches. "On Ashtami, we have Saptasati havan and every day, the puja and aarti will be performed. A special puja of girls who have not attained puberty is performed on Lalita Panchmi,'' she said.

Chatuhshrungi temple

At the Chatuhshrungi temple, the festival will be celebrated in the traditional manner. On the first day, ghatsthapna will be done by trustee Nandkumar Angal and an aarti of the goddess will be performed by minister of state for home, Ramesh Bagwe, at 10.15 am. Mahapuja and aarti will be performed by a celebrity and Angal Ashtami homa will take place on the eighth day. On Dassera, a mahapuja and mahaaarti will take place and in the evening, the Goddess will go for simolanghan in a palkhi at 6 pm.

Pune Navratri Mahotsav

Veteran actor Nana Patekar will inaugurate the Pune Navratri Mahotsav at Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch at 4 pm, while MP Suresh Kalmadi will preside over the function. There will be a variety of programmes, including awards for those who have done outstanding work in arts, literature, cultural and sports arenas.

This year, the awards will be given to Pune Festival coordinator Krishnakant Kudale, cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar, dance exponent Nandkishore Kapote, Lavani expert Priyanka Shetty and well-known Sanai player, Mahadev Tupe. The Tejaswani award will be conferred on noted vocalist Shaila Datar and 12-year-old designer, Prachi Badve, on Saturday.

Durga puja celebrations

-For Bengalis, Durga Puja begins on the sixth day of Navratri. But this year, the idol will be installed on the fifth day (October 12). Puja committee secretary Siddharatha Sen says they celebrate the triumph of Ma (Goddess Parvati) who killed demons with her 10 hands. It is also celebrated as the home-coming of married daughters.

-There are 17 panels in the city. Bangiya Sanaskriti Samsad and Cosmopolitan Group are the biggest community groups in the city. On the first day, there will be an anand mela from 7.30 pm onwards at Congress Bhavan.

-The next day, a clay idol carved by a Kolkata sculptor will be installed at 8 pm, followed by a ballet by a troupe from Kolkata. The following day, there will be a Bengali song programme at 7.30 pm, where local artiste Uttam Pal will perform.

-On Ashtmi, actor Madhuri Chakraborty will be interviewed, followed by Samsad programme based on Rabindranath Tagore. Bengal orchestra Shrijoni will perform on the 9th day and on Dassera, the festivities will end with a programme by a band from Siliguri. Around two lakh Bengalis reside in various parts of the city. Visarjan of the idol will take place on the 10th day.

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