The pious Hindu festival of Chaitra Navratri is a nine-day celebration, which will start from April 6 and will culminate with Ram Navami on April 13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among several Indians who will observe fats for these nine days. In a TV interview, PM had said that the Chaitra Navratri are relatively easy for him as he take a fruit of choice during the 9-day festival. According to Drik Panchang, Ghatasthapana Muhurta falls on Pratipada Tithi. Pratipada Tithi Begins = 14:20 on April 5. Pratipada Tithi Ends = 15:23 on April 6. The Ghatasthapana Muhurta is for four hours - 06:10 to 10:19.
Here are beautiful photos of Maa Durga and puja thalis to get you into Chaitra Navratri celebrations mode:
What you can eat during Navratri?
a. Kuttu Atta (buckwheat flour): You can make khichdi, paratha, poori and halwa
b. Sabudana (sago/tapioca pearls): Have sabudana kheer, payasam, khichdi, vada
c. Sama Chawal (barnyard millet): Can be used to make idli, uttapam, dosa and puri for vrat
d. Herbs and spices: sendha namak (rock salt), cumin seeds (jeera), green cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, cinnamon and green chilli
e. Tea is allowed, but you cannot consume coffee.
f. Dairy products: milk, curd, paneer, butter, ghee, khoya and condensed milk
g. Makhana (fox nuts): Make kheer or aloo makhana
h. Fruits and vegetables: All fruits are allowed. You can also coconut dishes or have coconut milk and water. You can opt for potatoes, sweet potatoes, suran, tomatoes, pumpkin, bananas and papaya.
i. Dry fruits: Almonds, pistachio, cashew nuts and kishmish are eaten during fast.
Here are some of the messages that you can send to your loved ones this Navratri:
• May the blessings of Maa Ambe always stay with you and your family and help you celebrate a glorious Navratri!Shubh Navratri!
• May Maa Durga empower you with her nine blessings --- Name, Fame, Health, Wealth, Happiness, Humanity, Knowledge, Devotion and Power! Happy Navratri!
• Maa bharti jholi khali!Maa Ambe vaishno wali!Maa Sankat harne wali!Maa Vipda Mitane wali! Maa ke sabhi bhakto ko Navratra Ki shubh kamnayen!
• Let’s join our hands in prayer and welcome the Divine mother may we all be blessed with wisdom and strengthHappy Navratras to all!
• May the choicest blessings of Maa Durga bring happiness, peace, and harmony to your life! Happy Navratri!
Indian Railways will also offer 'vrat ka khana' (food during fasting) as a part of its e-catering menu during the Navratri festival, which will start on Saturday. The Railways' catering arm – IRCTC- had announced this unique service in October last year. The menu consists of satvik diet like sabudana, sendha namak, kuttu ka atta, and certain vegetables.
These special meals will be available through select restaurants and at hand-picked stations on the Indian Railways network. Items like Navratri thali, sabudana khichdi, lassi, fruit chats can be pre-ordered on IRCTC's e-Catering website www.ecatering.irctc.co.in or ‘Food-on-track' app.
Orders can be placed at least two hours before scheduled journey time with a valid PNR, it said, adding passengers may opt to pre-pay or on delivery, based on convenience.