New Delhi: Hindu devotees across the country thronged temples today as the Hindu holy festival of Navratri began on Thursday.
Millions of Hindus fast, pray and dance to please the goddess during Navratri. Some restrict their diet to fruit and vegetables while spurning meat, onions and garlic.
While devotees in Jammu visited temples early this morning, preparations are also going on in full swing in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur. Artisans from Kolkata arrived in Gorakhpur on Wednesday to craft the idols of the goddess.
"Preparations are going on well. We get good customers also. But we face a lot of hurdles. We want a secured space for us where we can make more idols. The government doesn't provide us mud, we have to take permission to get it," said artisan Prasenjit.
He added that support from the government and improvement of infrastructure will boost their business.
Navratri, literally meaning nine nights, falls this year from Septermber 25 to October 3. It is a festival to worship goddess Durga.
It culminates on the tenth day, known as Dussehra, which marks the victory of good over evil.