By : Mohan Verma
On the auspicious occasion of beginning of Chaitra Navratri (first nine nights in the month of Chaitra month of Indian calendar) in the state today, long queue of devotees throng outside prominent shrines to pay their obeisance to Goddess Durga.
Wearing colorful, new and scented clean clothes, devotees turn out in large number to offer pooja (worship) in main shrines of the state.
Report arriving here said that Kalibari, Taradevi and Bhimakali shrine at Shimla, Naina Devi in Bilaspur district, Chintpurni in Una district, Brijeshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi and Jawalaji in Kangra district and many more shrines in the state witnessed heavy crowd of people.
Respective district administration have beefed up security around the shrines and deployed additional security staff to manage crowd to avoid stampedes and other crimes in the temple premises.
Deputy Commissioner Shimla, Dinesh Malhotra said that keeping in mind the heavy rush of devotees to Taradevi temple, additional fleet of buses have been plied from today onwards.
Lakhs of tourists and pilgrims visits these shrines from bordering Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal during this festival.
The word means nine nights in the Sanskrit language. Nava means nine and ratri means nights. The entire nine days are dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga. There is something very special about these nine days.
There is a sense of well being and an unexplained authority of power. In Northern India, Navratri is celebrated thrice in year as Chaitra Navratri, Sharad Navratri, and Devi Navratri. One of nine incarnation of Durga are worshiped at every Navratri day and shrines are center of activities for this.
Shrines of these incarnations are also called Shakti Peeth (center of power) in the Hindu mythology. It is time of year, when devotees feel them powerful from within as it signifies victory of good over evil.
Each incarnation of Goddess Durga is also known for elimination of demons freeing people form their clutches. This is a wonderful period of camaraderie, friendship, and renewing old bonds of closeness.