Navratri, meaning nine nights, is one of the most significant Hindu festivals which is celebrated with a lot of fervor. It is dedicated to worship of Goddess Durga and is observed twice a year. The first Navratri is in the month of Chaitra (March-April) and is celebrated during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra. The second Navratri which is known as Shardiya Navratri or Maha Navratri is celebrated in the pratipada of the bright fortnight of the month of Ashvin. It is observed during Sharad i.e (September-October). During Navratri, nine avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped.
This year Shardiya Navratri will be celebrated from 13th October to 22nd October. On the first day of Navratri, people sow barley seeds in a small pot which is kept in the prayer room and on the tenth day, these seeds which grow into small shoots are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from God. Ghatasthapana or Kalsash Sthapana is one of the important rituals which mark the beginning of Navratri. It is the invocation of Goddess Shakti and this ritual involves placing a kalash symbolizing Goddess Durga in the prayer room. Durga Saptshati is recited and people light Akhand Jyoti that keeps burning throughout the nine days of navratri. Goddess Shailputri is worshipped on the first day of Navratri and devotees observe fasts during the nine days of the Navratri.
On October 13, due to the prevalence of Nakshatra Chaitra and Vaidhriti Yoga, it is advised to avoid Ghatasthapana. However, the auspicious time for Ghatasthapana is during Abhijit Muhurat which is from 11:36 am – 12:24 pm.
On the first day, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga are worshiped and seeds of barley are placed in a vessel made of mud. Devotees take the resolution to fast and the place is purified by sprinkling Ganga jal and then kalash is placed. Sand of seven colours is mixed and a peeth is prepared on which the kalash is placed. In this puja, all the Gods, Yoginis and nine planets are invited and offered to sit in the kalash. Seven types of sands, betel nuts and coins are kept and decorated with five types of leaves.
Muhurat for Kalash Sthapana
Abhijit Muhurat- From 11:36 am to 12:24 pm
Pratipada Tithi begins-5:35 am (October 13)
Pratipada Tithi ends-8:01 am (October 14)