Navratri at Rajpipla, October 2021

Navratri and Dussehra are always a delightful and enjoyable time in the picturesque environs of the princely town of Rajpipla, now headquarters of Narmada district in Gujarat, India. Rajpipla can be approached from all four directions on smooth highways. The Statue of Unity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the tallest in the world, has been built just 25 kilometres from Rajpipla.

Picturesque road from Netrang to Rajpipla.

The auspicious period of Navratri (nine nights) begins with sthapna (beginning) of pujas (prayers) on the first day at Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir. Each evening there are garba dances in different parts of the town.

Ready to leave from Vijay Palace to Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir for talvar maha aarti.

A spectacular and vigorous talvar maha aarti is performed by youngsters of Rajpipla and neighbouring areas generally on the sixth day of Navratri. Several hours of practice goes into the perfection of this enthralling performance with swords.

The stage ready at Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir complex for the talvar maha aarti.
Youngsters performing talvar maha aarti at Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir complex.
Talvar maha aarti being performed facing Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir.

The day is rounded off by paying obeisance to the Kuldevi (family diety) Shri Harsiddhi Mataji by the Rajpipla royal family.

Paying obeisance to our Kuldevi (family deity) Shri Harsiddhi Mataji after talvar maha aarti.

On Mahanavmi or the ninth day of Navratri, the members of the Rajpipla royal family perform a comprehensive puja (prayer), and in the evening the rituals of havan and aarti at Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir.

Havan being performed by members of the Rajpipla royal family at Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir on the occasion of Mahanavmi.
Aarti being performed by members of the Rajpipla royal family at Harsiddhi Mataji Mandir on the occasion of Mahanavmi.

On the next day, the festival of Dussehra or Vijayadashmi, there is a final prayer in the evening before Harsiddhi Mataji. These are ten days of prayers and celebrations.

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