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Navaratri festival in Himachal Pradesh

The festival of Navaratri is celebrated with devotion by the people of Himachal Pradesh as in other parts of the country. The Navratra Mela is an occasion when people get to meet their relatives and friends. The devotees of goddess Durga devotes the occasion of Navaratri to the worship of the eternal power. This festival is prevalent in India from the Vedic era. The mention of it is also found in the Puranas.

During the Navratra festival, the devotees from India and abroad visit various shrines in Kangra, Una and Bilaspur districts of himachal Pradesh to pay obeisance to Goddess Durga. Shri Bajreshwari Devi is one of the famous temples of kangra where thousands of devoties come every year .

Navaratri festival in Himachal Pradesh The Brajeshwari Devi temple, located in the old Kangra township, is said to have been built over the charred breasts of Sati. Once renowned for it's great wealth, over the ages it has been plundered relentlessly. The first of the plunderers was Mahmud of Ghazni, who looted it in 1009. A mosque was built on the ruins and a garrison was left behind. 35 years later, the local king regained its possession. The shrine was repaired and a replica of the idol was enshrined. The temple was filled with gold, silver and diamonds only to be ransacked again in 1360 by Firoz Tughlaq. Later mperor Akbar visited the shrine with his Dewan, Todar Mal and restored it to its former grandeur. The temple was razed to the ground by an earthquake in 1905, but a new one came up the very same year, thanks to the Kangra Restoration Committee.

jjThe Kangra town known to the ancients as Nagarkot, is the seat of Shri Bajreshwari Devi or vajreshwari Devi or Brajeshwari Devi. Known once for its legendary wealth this temple was raided by various invaders from the north. Destroyed completely in 1905 by an earthquake, it was rebuilt in 1920 and continues to be a busy place of pilgrimage. One of the most revered shrines in Chamba, Vajreshwari Temple is dedicated to Devi Vajreshwari, the Goddess of Lightening. It has also been built as per the Shikhara style of architecture. It is believed that Bajreshwari Temple is more than 1000 years old.

Navaratri festival in Himachal Pradesh

An eleventh century shikhara style temple dedicated to goddess Vajreshwari, the stunning Bajreshwari Devi temple is a stupendous example of superior stone carving. One among the two pillars situated at the entrance of the temple carries some inscriptions that gave some information about the period of construction of the temple. At the doorway of the temple there are two janitors holding staff in their hands. The exterior alcoves are enshrined with the images of four-armed Durga seated on a lion and Vishnu in Vaikuntha form. The marvelously carved pillars depict images of numerous gods and goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon. One among the hectic pilgrim center, Bajreshwari Devi Temple, is a must visit sacred spot that one should not spare with.

Navaratri festival in Himachal Pradesh

Famous for its wealthy status, Brajeshwari Devi temple is one of the important temples situated in the Kangra valley. Known for its legendary wealth, this beautiful temple was invaded by many extremists several times. This temple follows a unique tradition of worshipping the goddess.

It is a tradition that every year, during the festival of Lohri, the Pindi of the Goddess is decorated with a layer of butter. It is believed that in ancient times the goddess had used butter to heal the wound she got during her battle with the demon Mahishasur. The sight of the decorated pindi attracts a lot of devotees from places near and far.

Climate The Kangra valley enjoys the alpine climate. Summers are mild an the winters are cold.

Average Temperature (Approximate ,In celsius)

Summers : Maximum 34 C- Minimum 20 C Light Clothes

Winters : Maximum 20 C Minimum 1 C Heavy Woolen.

Navaratri festival in Himachal Pradesh

Nandini Mitta, AIR Correspondent, Shimla

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