The special time of the year is here. Chaitra Navratri, also known as Vasant Navratri, is celebrated with a whole lot of grandeur and pomp all across the world by the Hindu community. Celebrated during March or April, Chaitra Navratri worships the nine forms of Maa Durga. The nine-day festivities are marked by the devotees keeping fast and worshipping the forms of Maa Durga. Hindus also celebrate Ram Navami during this time. On the first day of Hindu Luni-Solar calendar, Chaitra Navratri celebrations kickstart. Chaitra Navratri also follows the same rituals that are followed during Shardiya Navratri, this is observed by Hindus during the time of September or October, also known as Durga Puja in West Bengal.
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This year, Chaitra Navratri will start from March 22 and will go on till March 30. As we gear up to celebrate and worship the nine forms of Maa Durga, here is all that we need to know about the nine avatars of the goddess:
Stories of nine forms of Maa Durga
Maa Shailaputri: Also known as the daughter of the mountains, it is believed that maa Sailaputri is the daughter of Himalayas, wife of Lord Shiva and mother of Kartikeya and Ganesha. It is also believed that in her previous incarnation, Maa Shailaputri was Sati, daughter of King Daksha.
Maa Brahmacharini: Worshipped on the second day of Navratri, Maa Brahmacharini is the avatar of Maa Durga when she embodies tapa or penance. Followng the path led by Lord Brahma, Maa Durga went through penance to marry Lord Shiva, her husband from previous birth.
Maa Chandraghanta: Also known as the destroyer of demons, Maa Chandraghanta sits on a fierce tiger and has ten hands, armed with trident, mace, bow, arrow, lotus, sword, bell and a waterpot.
Maa Kushmanda: The fourth avatar of Maa Durga, Maa Kushmanda is believed to have created the entire universe, also known as Brahmanda. Her abode is in Anahata Chakra and she is believed to bestow people with good health and wealth.
Maa Skandamata: The fifth avatar of Maa Durga, Maa Skandamata is known for bestowing devotees with salvation, power, prosperity and treasures. Maa Skandamata is four-armed, three-eyed and rides a lion.
Maa Katyayani: Known as the slayer of demon Mahishashura, the sixth avatar of Maa Durga, Maa Katyayani is believed to have been created by the combined energies of all the gods, when their anger against demon Mahishashura manifested in the form of rays.
Maa Kalaratri: One of the fiercest forms of Maa Durga, Maa Kalaratri is known to slay all kinds of demons, ghosts, evil spirits and negative energies.
Maa Mahagauri: According to Hindu mythology, Maa Mahagauri is believes to bestow her devotees with prosperity and good health.
Maa Siddhidhatri: Maa Siddhidhatri is worshipped on the last day of Chaitra Navratri. It is believed that one side of Lord shiva is that of Maa Siddhidhatri.