Navaratri which literally means nine nights is one of the most popular Hindu festivals marked by the worship. This festival is celebrated during Ashwin era or in September-October month after rainy season. It has religious significance therefore it is organized and executed with full devoutness and pureness. Many people keep fasts or vrats of nine days for divine mother in honor of devotion and dedication. Navratas are celebrated all over India but in a different way. The most Colorful and well-known places of celebration is seen mostly in western India throughout the state of Gujarat, Rajasthan and also Mumbai. In West Bengal, Navratris and Dusshera are celebrated as Durga Pooja .
In western India, Navaratri is celebrated with non- stop nine nights of dancing. The traditional dances of Gujarat, known as garba and dandiya raas, are performed in circles with dancers dressed up in colorful traditional clothes. Small, decorated sticks called dandiyas are used in the dandiya raas. The Navratri festival of Gujarat is considered as a loop of ecstasy that throbs continuous nine day and night celebration with great . Tourists visit Gujarat during Navratri festival , get along with its cultures and traditions including various dance forms such as ras dandiya and garba. These dance performances are mainly performed to pay a holy tribute to gods and goddesses.
During this time, even devotees can flourish to various Shakti Peethas situated near Mehsana district of Gujarat such as Pavagadh, Ambaji and Bahuchraji to get rich religious pilgrimage experience in Gujarat. Apart from these religious sites there are many other temples in Gujarat where Navratri celebration is done such as at Khodiyar Mandir of Bhavnagar, Chotila at Rajkot Ahmedabad National Highway and Ashapura Mata no Madh in Kutch district.
Whereas in Mumbai, dancing takes over stadiums and clubs throughout the city. While some of it has retained a cultural trend, the introduction of disco dandiya has given Mumbai’s Navaratri celebrations a trendy and fun-loving twist. Nowadays, people set themselves free by their dancing to a fusion of remixed beats and loud Hindi hip-pop music. In south India, Navaratri is known as Golu and is celebrated by putting up a display of dolls to symbolize feminine power.
Navratas in West bengal and Kolkata is popularly known as Durga – puja festival where highly decorated, full-sized idols of Durga made out of clay that depict assassination of her Mahishasura are created by potters and displayed in large open spaces. Also, intricate pandals and temporary temples made up of bamboo and cloth are created to house the idols. The idols are worshipped for a time period of nine days and then carried in magnificent procession to a nearby local river for immersion, symbolizing Durga’s reunion with Shiva. The nine-day period of worship is a time of individual introspection and spiritual purification for devotees, with many avoiding meat, alcohol, onions, wheat and grains. Thus, Navratri and Durga Puja marks an auspicious time for most of tourist to explore religion and culture of Hindus.