The auspicious festival of Navratri and Durga Puja is here and the entire nation is gripped in the festive spirit of celebrations. Navratri is a nine-day long festival which began from October 10 and will last till the 18th of this month with Vijayadashami falling on the 19th.During these 9 days, Maa Durga is worshipped in different avatars. Each day is dedicated to one particular Goddess avatar or form and devotees pray to Maa for bestowing blessings upon them and their near ones.

Appearing with eight hands, Maa Kashmanda is believed to have created the universe by her divine smile. It is believed that when there was nothing in the universe, and it was a dark, black hole, Maa Kashmanda smiled and brought light, with the power She is believed to have derived from the Sun.

She rides a tiger and in her eight arms, holds, lotus, bow, arrow, kamandal (water pot), ChakraGada (mace), japa maala and pot of Amrit. It is believed that because of Her smile only there is light in the universe. She resides in the Suryalok, in the core of the Sun. It is believed She has so much power that only She could reside there.

Each day of the Navratri is devoted to one of the nine avatars of Maa Durga. The nine different forms are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.