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2023 Dasara Festival Celebrations at Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada

Dasara Navaratri is known as Devi Navaratrulu / Sharad Navaratrulu by the people of Andhra Pradesh. The nine days (actually nights) of Dasara festival are celebrated in a grand way in Ammavaru temples across the state particularly in Vijayawada Kanakadurga temple.
Kanaka Durgamma temple is located on Indrakeeladri hill which is in the old town area. The Peepal tree (Raavi Chettu) in 1 Town Police Station and the surrounding area is considered as Durgamma's parent's house. A day prior to Dasara celebrations in the temple, the area surrounding the peepal tree in the 1 Town Police Station is beautifully decorated. The idol of Durgamma which is under the peepal tree is carried to Kanaka Durgamma temple by the Police officials. The 1 town police officials then offer turmeric powder (pasupu), vermilion (kumkuma), silk sari (pattu cheera) and other items to Kanaka Durgamma.

Devi Navaratri Utsavalu begin after Durgamma is draped with the sari offered by Her parent's house i.e the police officials. This has become customary since long. Police officials take active part in Devi Navaratri celebrations. According to legends, during the rule of Kondaveeti Reddy Kings, Durgamma appeared in the dream of a soldier named Mangayya and directed him to dig Her out. As per Ammavari directions, the idol of Durgamma was dug out and placed under the peepal tree. From then onwards, it has become customary for the police officials to take active part in the Devi Navaratri Utsavalu.

Different Alankarams of Durgamma during Devi Navaratrulu

This year (2023) the festival celebrations at Kanaka Durgamma temple begin on Aswayuja Suddha Padyami Sunday 15th October 2023 and end on Aswayuja Suddha Dasami (Vijaya Dasami) 24th October 2023.

On each of the 9 days, Durgamma is dressed in different forms known as 'Alankaram' and is worshiped in different names. Sharad Navaratri Utsavalu start with the Kalasha Sthapana Pooja.

DAY 1 - Bala Tripura Sundari Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Padyami - 15th October 2023

Day: Sunday
Date: 15th October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Padyami
Alankaram: Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi
Sari: Light pink colour
Naivedyam: Pulihora
It is believed that one will be blessed with children on worshiping Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi.

DAY 2 - Gayatri Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Vidiya - 16th October 2023

Day: Monday
Date: 16th October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Vidiya
Alankaram: Sri Gayatri Devi
Sari : Saffron / orange colour
Naivedyam: Kobbari (coconut) rice and Kobbari payasam
Vedamata Gayatri Devi appears with 5 faces.

DAY 3 - Sri Annapoorna Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Tadiya - 17th October 2023

Day: Tuesday
Date: 17th October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Tadiya
Alankaram: Sri Annapoorna Devi
Sari: Sandalwood colour
Naivedyam: Dadhojanam (curd rice), Ksheeranam and allam garelu
In Annapoorna Devi alankaram, Durgamma holds a bowl in one hand and a ladle in the other hand to serve food.

DAY 4 - Sri Mahalakshmi Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Chavithi - 18th October 2023

Day: Wednesday
Date: 18th October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Chavithi
Alankaram: Sri Mahalakshmi Devi
Sari: Pure pink colour
Naivedyam: Ksheerannam and Chakkara Pongali (sweet pongal)
Durgamma in Mahalakshmi alankaram hold lotus in both Her hands. She is the goddess of wealth and prosperity and is worshiped the most by the devotees. Mahalakshmi is the unified form Ashta Lakshmi.

Day 5 - Sri Maha Chandi Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Panchami - 19th October 2023

Day: Thursday
Date: 19th October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Panchami
Alankaram: Sri Maha Chandi Devi
Sri Maha Chandi Alankaram is introduced this year (2023) and Durgamma will appear in this new Alankaram. This new alankaram is in place of the earlier Swarna Kavachalankrutha Devi Alankaram.

DAY 6 - Sri Saraswati Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Sashti - 20th October 2023.

Day: Friday
Date: 20th October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Sashti (Moola Nakshatram)
Alankaram: Sri Saraswati Devi
Sari: white
Naivedyam: Dadhojanam (curd rice), kesari and paramannam.
During Devi Navaratrulu when it is Moola Nakshatram, Durgamma is dressed in pure white sari in the form of Sri Maha Saraswati Devi - the goddess of knowledge and learning. She is seated on Her vehicle swan with Madalasa (the stringed musical instrument Veena) in Her hand.

DAY 7 - Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Saptami - 21st October 2023

Day: Saturday
Date: 21st October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Saptami
Alankaram: Sri Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi
Sari: deep red or vermilion / maroon (kumkuma) color
Naivedyam: Dadhojanam (curd rice) and Ksheerannam (paravannam)
Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi resides in Manidweepam and is Sree Vidya Roopini. In Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi alankaram, Sri Lakshmi Devi and Saraswati Devi are on the either side of Durgamma.

DAY 8 - Sri Durga Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Ashtami (Durgashtami) - 22nd October 2023

Day: Sunday
Date: 22nd October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Ashtami / Durgaashtami
Alankaram: Sri Durga Devi
Sari: Red color
Naivedyam: Kadambam and saka anannam
As per Devi Puranam, Durga Devi slayed an asura named Durgamma.

DAY 9 - Sri Mahishasura Mardhini Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Navami (Maharnavami) - 23th October 2023

Day: Monday
Date: 23rd October 2023
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Navami / Maharnavami
Alankaram: Sri Mahishasura Mardini
Sari: Deep red handloom sari
Naivedyam: Chakkara pongali (sweet pongali)
On Maharnavami day Durga Devi took the form of Mahishasura Mardhini and beheaded the ferocious buffalo-headed demon named Mahishasura. This is a 'Simha Vahini' alankaram with a trident (trisulam) held in both the hands and other weapons in other arms. The day on which Mahishasura was killed by Durga Devi, is celebrated as Maharnavami.

Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi Alankaram on Aswayuja Suddha Dasami (Vijaya Dasami) - From Noon on 23rd October 2023

Day: Monday
Date: 23rd October 2023 (from noon)
Tithi: Aswayuja Suddha Dasami
Alankaram: Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi
Sari: Green color
Naivedyam: Boondi laddu, pulihora, boorelu, garlu and annam (rice)
Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi is the last alankaram of Kanaka Durgamma during Devi Navaratrulu festival. Durgamma is dressed in green sari from Noon on Maharnavami day this year (2023).

Photo credit:

There will be Sami Puja (jammi chettu puja) on Vijaya Dasami day. Devi Navaratrulu festival celebrations will be concluded with Poornaahuti and Kalasa Udvasana. In the evening the celebrations end with 'Teppotsavam' when the 'utsava vigraham' is taken on a beautifully decorated / illuminated boat ride in River Krishna.


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