New Delhi/Faizabad/Ramgarh, Oct. 16 (Asian News International): Devout Hindus queued up at various temples across India to mark the beginning of the nine-day long festival of Navratri, which is held in honor of the Goddess Durga which is observed twice a year, once in April and the second time in October. A majority of Hindu devotees fast during these nine days and offer fruits and flowers to Goddess Durga as an act of worship. In Jharkhand's Ramgarh district, foreign tourists also are arriving to participate. A priest, Girdhari Lal, said "Many priest and saints have also come, as they know about the importance of the festive season. People from across the country are also arriving."
The devotees believe their wishes are fulfilled if they pray to Goddess Badi Devkali during the nine-day festival. The festival lasts for nine days in honour of nine manifestations of Durga, goddess of power, and fall in the months of April-May and September-October. It is believed that during the Navratri, Goddess Durga descends on earth to rid it of the demons and blesses her devotees with happiness and prosperity. On the tenth day people celebrate Dussehra, which marks the triumph of good over evil. According to Hindu mythology, on this day, Lord Rama beheaded the demon-king Ravana.