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Pandal during Durga Puja.

Navratri is a nine-day festival that is solely dedicated to Goddess Durga. This festival is amongst the prominent Hindu festivals which are celebrated in different regions with different names. The word 'Navratri' in Sanskrit means nine nights. Therefore, for nine days, 'Nine Forms of Maa Durga' is worshipped.

Interestingly, Navratri falls four times a year, but only two out of them are celebrated, namely Chaitra Navratri (March-April) and Sharad Navratri (September-October).


Sharad Navratri is celebrated in order to mark the victory of good over evil. The reason behind this is because, for nine long days, Goddess Durga fought the battle with demon king 'Mahishasura' and killed him, marking the victory of good over evil.

Nine days, Nine forms of Goddess Durga, and Colours related to them

It must be noted that each day of these nine days is dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga. At the same time, each day is associated with a different colour.

The first day is dedicated to Goddess Shailputri, who is known as the daughter of the mountains. This day is associated with yellow colour, which is said to bring brightness, happiness, and cheer to our lives. It must be noted that Goddess Shailputri symbolizes Mother Nature and her favourite flower is Jasmine.

Goddess Shailputri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


The second day is dedicated to Goddess Brahmacharini. This day is associated with green colour, which is said to bring renewal, nature, and energy.


The third day is dedicated to Goddess Chandraghanta. This day is associated with grey colour as it is believed that on this day, Goddess carries the half-moon on her forehead during the night with grey clouds. This day symbolizes zeal and determination to destroy evil.

Goddess Chandraghanta.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


The fourth day is dedicated to Goddess Khushmanda. Interestingly, Goddess Khushmanda is also referred to as the "smiling goddess". Hence, this day is associated with the cheerful orange colour as it represents brightness, happiness, and positive energy.

Goddess Khushmanda.Phot by Wikimedia Commons.


The fifth day is dedicated to Goddess Skandamata. This day is associated with white colour, which is said to bring purity, peace and meditation in one's life.

Goddess Skandamata.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


The sixth day is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani. It is believed that Goddess Katyayani is the most powerful form of Goddess Durga as she is hailed as the warrior-goddess or Bhadrakali. Hence, being fierce in nature, she is represented by the colour red, which denotes the anger of the Goddess towards the enemies and fearlessness.

Goddess Katyayani.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


The seventh day is dedicated to Goddess Kalaratri. Interestingly, the word 'Kalaratri' means the one who is "the Death of Kaal". This day is associated with royal blue colour as it represents immense power.

Goddess Kalaratri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


The eighth day is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri. It is believed that Goddess Mahagauri has the power to fulfill all the desires of her devotees. Therefore, this day is associated with pink colour which represents hope, self-refinement, and social upliftment.

Goddess Mahagauri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


The ninth and the last day is dedicated to Goddess Siddhidatri. The name is further made up of two names, 'Siddhi' meaning supernatural power and 'Dhatri' meaning the awarder. It is believed that Goddess Siddhidatri is a giver of knowledge and helps one achieve their aspirations. Hence, the day is associated with the purple colour, which represents ambition and power.

Goddess Siddhidatri.Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Keywords: Navratri, Festival, Durga, Hinduism, Celebration


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Kerala Kalamandalam admits girl students after 90 years

Kerala Kalamandalam that teaches the globally recognized art form of Kerala -- Kathakali, has for the first time in its history of 90 years, admitted girl students.

In class VII of Kalamadalam, out of 10 students admitted, 9 are girl students for its Kathakali course. Kathakali is a highly masculine art form with even the female characters being portrayed by men. The attempt is being welcomed across the world.

However several women had started practicing Kathakali in 1970 and 1990 and K.K. Gopalakrishnan, renowned art critic of Kerala in his research book, 'Kathakali Dance - Theatre', said that some women from foreign countries had trained for some short-term courses in Kerala on Kathakali.

Most of these performing women artists were either trained privately by Kathakali masters but this is the first time that Kalamandalam is taking in girl students for its long-term programme.

T.K. Narayanan, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam told media persons that giving admission to girl students in Kalamadalam was a demand for several quarters since long and that this academic year the governing body has decided to give admission to girl students in a full-time programme at Kalamandalam.

Training at Kalamandalam from school days would expose the students to the teaching and guidance of experts and a diverse pool of teachers of the institute who have huge exposure and deep knowledge of the subject. (IANS/JB)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government would arrange free-of-cost travel for senior citizens from Delhi to Ayodhya.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the Delhi government would arrange free-of-cost travel for senior citizens from Delhi to Ayodhya.

"I want every Indian should be fortunate enough to have a 'darshan' (visit) of Ram Lalla. I am a small man but Lord Ram has given me enough and I will use my position to help people to come for darshan here," Kejriwal added after offering prayers at the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media, he said, "I pray to Lord Ram to help India move ahead in the world and bring prosperity for 130 crore people."

Kejriwal, who visited the Hanuman Garhi temple, said he was fortunate enough to be in Ayodhya and seek blessings from Lord Ram for the welfare of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and the rest of the country.

The Delhi Chief Minister had arrived at the temple town on Monday and attended the 'Sarayu aarti' where he interacted with saints and seers. (IANS/JB)


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Tamil Nadu will host the national blind football tournament for men and women.

Tamil Nadu will host the national blind football tournament for men and women from October 27-30. This is the first time the state is playing host to the national blind football tournament.

The state has formed a blind football team for men only in 2018, and, in 2019 the Tamil Nadu blind football association commenced functioning.

The founder of the TN Blind football association, GR Bharathiraja, while speaking to IANS said, "While we were late in establishing a team and forming an association, we have not lagged behind in training, and a good team is now arranged. We are hosting the national football championship for the blind in both men's and women's categories from October 27."

This is the first time a national-level women's blind football tournament is being conducted while this will be the sixth national blind football tournament for men.

The teams are coached by Francis Sebastian who is an acclaimed blind football coach and he said that the tournament was slated for 2023 but the associations put pressure on the national office-bearers and have made the tournament possible in 2021 itself.

Sebastian, while speaking to IANS, said, "While both the men's and women's teams are performing extremely well, we need more support from sponsors as well as the general public. In the northeastern states of the country, blind football is popular in villages and we are planning to make it popular among the masses of Tamil Nadu, and for that, we need more support and patronage."

The state association, as a first step, is planning to introduce football in every blind school of the state and to train coaches for the same. The blind football association also wants to divide the state into five zones with each zone comprising of some districts and to decentralise the coaching programme so that the game is introduced across the state.

Bharathiraja and Sebastian have said that infrastructural problems are plaguing the game and that the team does not have a playing ground of its own, but the passion for the game is pulling the organisers, players, and coach forward. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Football, Sports, Blind Tournament. national blind football tournament, Tamil Nadu blind football association