Navratri is a major festival of India which is celebrated with great zeal for nine nights and ten days. Nine incarnations of Goddess Shakti &ndash Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba or Jagadamba, Annapoorna, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavini and Mookambika &ndash are worshipped, with some regional variations. One of the biggest attractions of this colourful and vibrant festival is dancing, especially the dandiya raas.
A folk dance of Gujarat, the dandiya raas has become immensely popular outside Gujarat too. A group dance, it takes its name from the &lsquodandiya&rsquo or the two sticks used during dancing, and is held after the evening aarti. Men and women, wearing traditional clothes and jewellery, spend hours performing this merry dance.
For this Navratri season, let us snoop around to find out what some of the &lsquoactive&rsquo regions hold in store.
Ahmedabad is the perfect place to witness the merriest events and the vibrant colours. This Navratri season, take part in Nache Navrotsav 2014 at Funpoint Resorts Pvt Ltd., Sarkhej &ndash Gandhinagar Highway. The event will be from September 25 to October 3. Timings are 8pm to 12pm and for information on entry, contact 919898056323. You can also take part in the Rock N Roll Dandiya Dhamaal 2014. This event will be held on September 25 and for booking details, contact, Utkarsh Trivedi 9537843742 / 7778058519
The dandiya fever seemed to have caught on very well in Delhi for the past few years. Usually, places such as Pandara Park, Kingdom of Dreams (Gurgaon), Rohini, and the Metro Walk Mall (Adventure Island) hold dandiya programmes. Lok Utsav is currently hosting the annual Garba-Dandiya raas workshop &ndash 2014 in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Lodi Estate (near Khan Market). The main event will take place on September 26-27 there will be food and handicrafts stalls too. The organisers are yet to finalise on the venue but you may contact them around September 20 for venue-related information. The entry to this event is free but restricted to families and groups of women. For further information, contact Abhishek Naga 91 9711553877, 011-65554428/29.
In the Pink City, you have a lot more to experience during the Navratri. At Jaipur Shopping Festival, which is starting from September 25, 2014, to October 24,2014, you can be a part of dandiya nights, live concerts, hot air ballooning, craft bazaar and food fests. Enjoy the Dandiya Utsav (September 27-28, 7-11 pm) at Raj Mahal Lawns in a uniquely Jaipuri style. For more information on the event and tickets, visit www.jaipurshoppingfestival.com
After the grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, Maharsahtra is now all set to welcome Navratri. Many places in Mumbai and its suburbs will host dandiya-related events most of them charge an entry fee. Often, well known artists perform at these functions. For more information on the venues and the tickets, visit www.mumbai77.com/city/1821/festivals/famous-navratri-dance-places/
This Navratri season, Bengaluru is all geared up for the fun and dance... and meditation. Yes, take part in Navratri Celebration 2014 with Sri Ravi Sankar in the Bangalore Ashram. The event, Navratri Special Advanced Meditation Program, will be held at the Art of Living International Centre from September 24 &ndash October 2. To register for the programme, visit, www.bangaloreashram.org, and for more information, contact email@example.com or call 918067262626/ 627/ 628/ 802.
Get your dandiya sticks ready for some action at the Elaan Convention Centre&rsquos Dandiya Night 2014 on September 27 at 7pm. The event will also have fun activities for kids and it also comes with a dress code &ndash traditional wear. To book tickets, visit in.bookmyshow.com/events/dandiya.
Along with the Durga Puja fever, take part in the Dil Se Dandiya Utsav (October 1-3) in Nalban Food Park. The theme for the event will be Disco Dandiya Neon and along with the music, fun and food, the event will also have renowned celebrities such as Gauhar Khan and Himanshu Kohli. For information and passes, contact 8100191997.
The fun and frolic of Dandiya Raas has even travelled beyond the Indian shores. Several events have been slated in different regions in the United States. Well known artist, Falguni Pathak, will perform in Chicago and Des Plaines, Illinois. For the event Dandiya Dhoom with Falguni Pathak (October 18), you can avail the ticket information online https://events.sulekha.com/dandiya-dhoom-with-falguni-pathak. Along with the dandiya, there will be Navratri Mela 2014 in Alpharetta, Georgia. For tickets and information, contact 6785665018, 7706675258, 6786443886, 6783624317, 6784739337 and also visit, www.chinmayamissionalpharetta.org.Raas-Garba with Jayshree Gohil & Group will be held in Irvine, California, on October 4. Tickets are available online at www.sulekha.com/lagarba and for more information, visit www.LAGarba.org.