Navratri is a very popular 9-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga. The word Navratri in Sanskrit literally means nine nights. During the celebration of nine nights and ten days, Goddess Durga is worshipped in 9 different forms, popularly known as Navdurga. The tenth day is observed as Vijayadashami when the idols of Goddess Durga are immersed into water body.
Navratri is celebrated throughout India. However, it is very popular in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. On the first day of the celebration, Goddess Durga is invoked into a Kalash accompanied by specific Vedic rituals and chanting of Mantras. The invocation of Goddess Durga into the Kalash is known as Ghatasthapana or Kalashsthapana and is performed at an auspicious time of the day.
Navratri in West Bengal is celebrated as Durga Puja. Here, Goddess Durga is worshipped on the last three days of
Navratri known as Durga Saptami, Durga Ashtami and Durga Navami. In other words, Durga Puja in West Bengal is a smaller version of the 9-day Navratri festival. There is no difference in the Kalparambha and Bilva Nimantran rituals performed on the sixth day, from that performed in other states.
According to the religious texts, Navaratri celebrated in 9 days can also be limited to 7 days, 5 days, 3 days, 2 days or even 1 day.
Other famous rituals and ceremonies observed during 9 days Navratri include Jyoti Kalash, Kumari Puja, Sandhi Puja, Navami Homa, Lalitha Vrat and Chandi Path.