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Panaji: Navratri is celebrated in two ways in Goa. Navratri festival in Goa is celebrated in traditional temple style with many special goddess temples in the state. On the other hand, in the last few years, on the occasion of Navratri festival, assembly halls were built at various places and idols of Navdurga were worshipped there. Thus Navratri festival is celebrated for nine days. Then on the ninth day the idol is immersed. And the mandap is removed.
Goa has the largest number of Sri Shantadurga temples. Shantadurga is famous in Phatarpa and Kavle. There are also a large number of temples of Shri Sattari and Kelbai and Shri Nudurga. Bori’s Nodurga is famous. Shri Lairai has a famous temple in Shargaon. The Shri Mahalakshmi temples of Panji and Bandyoda are also famous. Navratri festival is celebrated on a grand scale in all these temples. At the same time the Navratri festival is celebrated in Shree Mahalsa (Nuratri Festival in Goa) and other temples.
Navratri festival is celebrated in traditional manner in every village and also in temples of other deities. On this occasion, Puja, Bhajan, Kirtan are performed daily in most places. On the first day after the Ghatasthan, various grains are kept inside the temple to take root. On the ninth day it is removed and distributed as gold. During these nine days, local artistes perform bhajans in the respective temples of the village, along with one or two days out of the nine days being organized as Harinam sabbath or bhajan sabbath. During this week, many villages have a tradition of standing and chanting continuously for 24 hours. Kirtana programs, devotional song programs are conducted in many places. Dramas, orchestras, magic experiments, dandiyas etc. are organized.
A clay idol of Goddess Naudurga is worshiped in a rare temple in the village. The idol of the goddess in this temple is worshiped in the form of Navadurga. The idol is dressed in different clothes for nine days. Navratri festivals are celebrated not only in Devi temples but also in temples of Mangesh, Rawalnath, Ganesha etc.
Similar to public Ganeshotsav, Navratri celebrations are held in large mandapas, especially in urban areas by setting up Naudurga mandals. A clay idol of Goddess Naudurga is installed in this mandap. On the first day, the idol of Goddess Naudurga is worshipped, and then puja-archa bhajan-keertana programs are conducted every day. Orchestras and plays are also organized at certain places.
Dandiya or garba dance competitions have been organized on a large scale in Goa for the past few years. In the last two years, the number of these Dandiya dance groups has reduced greatly due to the Corona epidemic. Earlier there was a daily dandiya dance competition in one or the other temple of the village. These competitions were held from five to six in the morning. So many young women in the village formed their own garba dandiya dance teams. A large number of Dandiya dance artists were also produced by this medium.
Navratri festival is celebrated in different ways by the citizens of different states like Bengali community, Gujarati community who came to Goa for work or business and then settled here. Navratri festival is celebrated in Goa on a grand scale in which the citizens of the state come together and offer various programs.