September 22, 2022

Navaratri Special - Significance & Prasadams

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 Navaratri is just round the corner and it is a very special festival for Hindus.  The whole of India celebrates Navratri in different ways and it is the most awaited festival for the ladies.

Navaratri is a festival that  celebrates the victory of good over evil by Goddess Durga . The festival is spread across 9 nights and 10 days hence the name Nav Ratri (Nav is 9 and Ratri is night) .

The last day is celebrated as Dussehra or Dassera, a  day that is considered very auspicious to start anything new . 

As I already said each region in India celebrates Navaratri in different ways and the ladies thoroughly enjoy this festival .

Read the full blog to know how various regions celebrate Navratri across our country.

In Northern India , each day is dedicated to 9 forms of Maa Durga  ; Shailaputri  ,Brahmacharini ,Chandraghanta ,Kushmanda ,Skandamaata , Katyayani  ,Kaalaratri, Mahagauri,Siddhadhatri. 

Devi is worshipped  by chanting Chandi Paath/ Havan ,devi Mahatmyam etc. Most ladies fast for the 9 days and break their fast on Navami .

The Ashtami Day is  celebrated as Kanya Puja where young girls who haven't attained Puberty are called home and worshipped as an Incarnation of lord Durga ma and offered with Prasadam and small gifts like Bindi , chunri , mehendi etc. Prasad on Ashtami is Poori ,Halwa and Kala Channa .

In Gujarat , a decorated earthen pot called Garba is placed with a lamp lit inside which is kept as Akhand Diya for all 9 days ..this Garba is symbolic of the womb and the word is derived from the Sanskrit word "Garbh". There is a  belief that just as the mother protects the baby in the womb, Ambe Maa is the protector of the world and she protects us from the wordly  wrath. 

Bengal and Eastern India is known for its Durga Puja Utsav during Navratri and the massive pandals that are set up all over the city which have huge and beautiful idols of Durga Maa sculpted to perfection and on the day of Dassera after the Pooja ,the idols are immersed in water bodies .

In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka ladies set up Golu ,which is a display of dolls of various Gods and Goddesses and also other mythological characters.  Social themes are also displayed and lot of contests are conducted to applaud and recognize the hard work .  The 9 nights of Navratri are dedicated for Durga ,Lakshmi and Saraswati . The 9th Day is celebrated as Saraswati Pooja / Ayudha Pooja in Tamil Nadu know more about how it is celebrated, read my post on Saraswati Pooja Special.

What is Golu / Bomma Kolu / Bombe Habba ?

GOLU is a display of Dolls arranged on steps like structure which are odd in number like 1 , 3, 5 , 7 , 9 steps etc .

Traditionally beautifully colored clay dolls of various Gods and Goddess & Mythological story related dolls would be on the display and these dolls are handed down from generations.  Carefully packed and stored for use year on year. 

 Slowly, with social awareness and creativity,  dolls with social themes also got added to the collection and people who display golu started presenting various themes to bring related to current affairs and social responsibilities. 

Each day a special prasadam is offered to Devi after pooja in the morning and evening. 
Normally in the morning, we offer some kind of sweet as prasadam and in the evening we offer sundal prasadam. Navaratri and Sundal go hand in hand .

Sundal is a simple stir fry using various beans and legumes . A very good source of protein and energy. 

This sundal prasadam is distributed along with the Haldi Kumkum Thamboolam which is given to all the ladies who visit the house for Golu . 

What is thamboolam ?

Thamboolam is an offering of betel leaves, betel nuts, coconut a fruit and haldi kumkum .

Refer to the collection of recipes below which I am linking for your easy reference 

Verkadalai Sundal / Peanut Sundal

Kondakadalai Sundal/Chickpeas Sundal

Karamani Sundal / Lobia Sundal

Karuppu Kondakadalai Sundal / Brown Chickpeas sundal

Thengai Mangai Pattani Sundal / Dried peas sundal

Kadalai Paruppu Sundal / Gram Dhal Sundal

Kadhamba Sundal / Mixed Sundal

Pacha payaru Sundal / Green Gram Sundal

Sundal using Sundal Podi

Traditional sweets offered as prasadam for Navaratri 

Seeyam / Sugiyan (Saraswati Pooja Spl )


  1. A well written post Priya, so informative as you've mentioned how Navratri is celebrated in different parts of India. Also like the long list of prasadam that you've compiled, making it easier to plan what to prepare.

    1. Thanks Mayuri ji . Navratri does get overwhelming due to excitement hence such planners really ease the stress .

  2. What a beautiful account of that south Indian navrathri celebrations. I loved everything on this post from the kolams to the recipe collection.

    1. Thanks Seema ! That is a very sweet comment :-)

  3. Loved reading about the Navratri celebrations of South India. I liked the bombe which you have displayed. Nice collection of recipes making it easier for the festive season.

  4. This post is a one stop solution for Navratri celebrations. During Navratri I visit my neighbour's house to celebrate Navratri fervour. She makes nice variety of sundal and also displays Golu. I marvel at the wonderful display of golu. Definitely now I will frequently visit this post when I make Sundal at home.

  5. The Kolams and the detailed explanation of NAvratri with various festivities across India made for a great post, Priya. lovely compilcation - Kalyani


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