One of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar, the pious Chaitra Navratri began on April 6. The nine-day festival marks the beginning of the new year according to several communities across India. Not just Goddess Durga but this Navratri will also celebrate Lord Ram’s birth. The markets are decorated with bright, colourful red ‘chunnis’, garlands and Goddess Durga’s beautiful posters. Out of the four Navratris, the Chaitra and the Sharadiya are the most popular.
The first day of Navratri marks the worship of Maa Shailputri, the daughter of the mountains. Shailputri is worshipped as an absolute form of Mother Nature. The goddess is depicted with a crescent on her forehead, a trident in her right and a lotus in her left hand. She is mounted on the back of a bull.
Goddess Durga was born into the house of the King of Mountains --- Parvat Raj Himalaya --- so she is called “Shailaputri” which means the daughter of the mountain. She is also known as Hemavati and Parvati. Similar to her previous birth as Goddess Sati, Goddess Shailputri got married to Lord Shiva.
The goddess is said to bring good fortune and prosperity to her devotees.