Devotees throng temples on last day of Navaratri
After nine-days of rigorous fasting and daylong prayers, thousands of devotees thronged temples in Gujarat on the last day of the nine-day long Hindu festival of Navaratri to offer prayers to Goddess Durga.
The nine-day long festival dedicated to the Goddess is celebrated with much gusto and enthusiasm by Hindus, with most of them fasting on all nine days.
The festival of Navaratri marks the victory of virtue over vice and on the ninth day of the festivities weapons and tools of the Goddess are worshipped.
Creating a spiritual aura, thousands of devotees participated in the traditional 'Maha Aarti' in Surat.
Aatmaram Patel, the organiser of the Maha Aarti, said that about 35,000 earthen lamps were lit for the devotees and added that the programme was organised on a large scale.
"The 19th Maha Aarti is being held today. People of our trust as well as the residents have gathered here and we have given earthen lamps to all the 40,000 to 50,000 people here and we lit about 35,000 earthen lamps and we conducted the Maha Aarti. A devotee cannot come here and do the Maha Aarti on his own, so we thought of organizing this programme for all devotees who come here," he said.
A devotee, Devika, could not stop gushing about the experience, and added that it was beyond her imagination.
"I had never experienced this before, this was beyond our imagination. We had heard of this before, but we had never seen it. So, after seeing this, I have no words to express my feelings," she said.
Meanwhile, devotees in Vadodara city on Monday danced to the tune of drums, while keeping earthen lamps on their heads.
"I have kept a fast for the entire day and performed the aarti, while keeping this earthen pot on my head for the entire day. I feel very good," said Sejal, a devotee.
Hindus worship Goddess Durga in nine of her avatars during the festival.
Navaratri culminates with Dussehra, which is regarded as the day when Lord Ram defeated Ravana, the ruler of Lanka and rescued his abducted wife, Sita.
Dussehra will be celebrated this year on October 24.