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How is Navratri Celebrated in Different Parts of India?

By Anandi Makhija

Updated - Oct. 15, 2023 6 min read

India is a land of diverse cultures, and our festivals reflect that beautifully. Navratri is one such festival, celebrated in different ways across the country. But one thing remains the same: the spirit of celebration. Navratri literally means "nine nights" in Sanskrit, and it's a time to worship the nine forms of the goddess Durga. It's also a time to cleanse and rejuvenate, both physically and spiritually.

Here's how Navratri is celebrated across India:


West Bengal:

In West Bengal, Navratri is known as Durga Puja. This is one of the biggest and most extravagant festivals in the state. Giant pandals (temporary temples) are erected all over the city, and people flock to them to see the elaborate idols of Goddess Durga and her children. On the last day of the festival, the idols are immersed in the river Hooghly in a grand procession.

Image Courtesy: Travelogy India

Local Traditions: 

Pandal Hopping: During Durga Puja, people indulge in "pandal hopping," where they visit various puja pandals (temporary structures) to admire the artistic idols and decorations. It's a cultural extravaganza, showcasing elaborate themes and innovative designs.




In Gujarat, Navratri is all about garba and dandiya raas. These traditional dances are performed by men and women in colorful costumes, and the streets are filled with the sound of music and laughter. Garba is a circular dance performed around a pot of fire, while dandiya raas is a stick dance performed in pairs.

Image Courtesy: Gujrat Tourism

Local Traditions: 

Garba and Dandiya: Gujarat is famous for its energetic Garba and Dandiya Raas dances. These group dances are performed around a central lit lamp or idol of Goddess Shakti. The circular movements and colorful traditional attire make it a visually stunning and culturally rich tradition.



Tamil Nadu:

In Tamil Nadu, Navratri is celebrated as Golu. This is a unique festival where women arrange dolls and figurines in elaborate displays. These displays often tell stories from Hindu mythology or depict traditional Tamil culture. On the last day of the festival, the Golu is dismantled and the dolls are given away to friends and family.

Image Courtesy: Tour my India

Local Traditions: 

Golu Display: One of the prominent traditions in Tamil Nadu is the Golu display. Families arrange dolls and figurines depicting gods, goddesses, and mythological characters on steps. Women, especially, invite friends and relatives to view and admire their Golu displays.




In Karnataka, Navratri is celebrated as Dasara. This festival is marked by grand processions of elephants, horses, and decorated chariots. One of the most famous Dasara celebrations takes place in the city of Mysore, where the Mysore Palace is illuminated with thousands of lights.

Image Courtesy: The Strong Traveller

Local Traditions: 

Mysuru Dasara: The Mysuru Dasara festival is an elaborate affair in Karnataka. The city comes alive with cultural events, including music and dance performances. The grand procession on Vijayadashami day features caparisoned elephants, folk dancers, and various tableaux.




In Kerala, Navratri is celebrated as Navarathri. This festival is marked by special pujas (prayer rituals) and performances of traditional dances. One of the most popular dances is the Kummattikali, which is a masked dance performed by men.

Image Courtesy: Kerala Tourism

Local Traditions: 

Ayudha Puja: In Kerala, Ayudha Puja is performed, where people worship their tools, instruments, and vehicles, considering them as extensions of their livelihood. It is a way to express gratitude for the tools that help them earn a living.




In Maharashtra, Navratri is celebrated with the worship of Goddess Amba. The tradition of 'Golu' or 'Bommai Kolu' is prevalent, where families set up elaborate displays of dolls and figurines depicting various deities. Special prayers, musical performances, and processions are organized, and women exchange gifts and sweets.

Local Traditions: 

Lalbaugcha Raja: In Mumbai, the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati Mandal organizes a grand Navratri celebration. The same venue that hosts Lord Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi transforms into a place of worship for Goddess Durga during Navratri.




In Punjab, Navratri is associated with fasting, devotional singing, and vibrant dances like Gidda and Bhangra. Temples are decorated, and special prayer services are conducted. Fasting individuals break their fast on the eighth or ninth day, offering food and gifts to young girls, symbolizing the presence of Goddess Durga in them.

Local Traditions: 

Fasting and Feasting: Many people in Punjab observe fasts during Navratri. On Ashtami (the eighth day), young girls are invited home and offered sumptuous meals as a part of the Kanjak tradition, where nine young girls symbolizing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped.



Himachal Pradesh:

In Himachal Pradesh, Navratri is celebrated with great fervor. Special prayers are offered at temples, and colorful processions are taken out in various towns and villages. People, dressed in traditional attire, participate in folk dances like Nati, expressing their devotion to the Goddess.

Local Traditions: 

Kullu Dussehra: Kullu Dussehra in Himachal Pradesh is renowned for its week-long international fair and various cultural events. The idol of Lord Raghunath (Lord Rama) is taken in a procession, accompanied by local deities, folk dancers, and musicians.


These are just a few examples of how Navratri is celebrated across India. With its rich diversity of cultures and traditions, it's no surprise that this festival is celebrated in so many different ways.So next time you're in India during Navratri, be sure to experience the unique way it's celebrated in the region you're visiting. You won't be disappointed!


Q: How is Navratri celebrated in India?

A: Navratri is celebrated with colorful dances like Garba and Dandiya, fasting, prayers, and elaborate decorations in homes and temples.


Q: Why is Navratri celebrated for nine nights?

A: The festival signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated for nine nights to honor the nine forms of Goddess Durga.


Q: What is the significance of Garba and Dandiya dances during Navratri?

A: Garba and Dandiya are traditional folk dances performed in circles during Navratri to celebrate the goddess and her divine energy.


Q: Can non-Hindus participate in Navratri celebrations?

A: Yes, Navratri celebrations are inclusive, and people from all backgrounds are welcome to join in the festivities.


Q: What is the importance of fasting during Navratri?

A: Fasting during Navratri is a way of purifying the body and mind, seeking blessings, and showing devotion to the goddess.



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