Sharda Devi Utsav

Shree Sharda Devi utsav(festival) means Navratri Utsav !

Shree Sharda Devi temple is situated in the scenic Turambav village, district Ratnagiri in the state of Maharashtra, India.

The local language is Marathi.
Marathi (; ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. There were 72 million speakers in 2001. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most spoken language in the world. Marathi has some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about 1000 AD. The major dialects of Marathi are called Standard Marathi and Warhadi Marathi. There are a few other sub-dialects like Ahirani, Dangi, Vadvali, Samavedi, Khandeshi, and Malwani. Standard Marathi is the official language of the State of Maharashtra. {Wikipedia.Org}

As per records of the temple navratri utsav has been a tradition of the past 118 years. As the utsav draws closer, each year the hearts of the residents of Turambav village and many Mumbaikars begin to build up a certain conscience. Everyone is contemplating visiting the village. The village folk get busy preparing for the utsav while mumbaikars and other city dwellers get busy planning their journey to the village. The utsav lasts ten days.

Situated in the centre of Turambav village this epic and beautiful Sharda Devi temple will enthrall you at the very first sight. Dressed in scenic beauty, this quiet and peaceful area is considered as a blessing by the goddess Sharda. Popular for answering the prayers of her devotees the magnitude of the celebrations of her utsav has been on the rise each year. Visitors include those who are praying to have children and also those who come to visit with their new born child.

Along with Sharda Devi the other local deities goddesses worshipped are Shree Vardan, Shree Maanai and Shree Chandika. Apart from these Shree Gauri is an utsav deity. This utsav is celebrated from Ashwin tritiya (third day of the month of Ashwin in the Hindu calendar) to Vijaya Dashmi (tenth day of the month of Ashwin in the Hindu calendar). There are various programmes held throughout the nights. The festivities start at 21:00 with an aarti (hymns). After the aarti the devotees queue to see the goddesses and offer coconut and other offerings to the goddesses. Next the children dance the “Zakdi” in front of the goddesses to a traditional tune of Senai(flute) and Dhol(Drums) playing live in the background. Once the children are finished the elders of the community start appearing and dance the “Zakdi” dressed in traditional costumes with white Dhotar (traditional pants) bright red coloured belts and the famous Peshwa Pagdi (turbans worn by the famous Peshwas). The “Zakdi” has become the main attraction of this festival. The  mesmerizing “Zakdi” is watched by an eager crowd of devotees who have described the whole event heart warming and a treat of an epic well preserved tradition of Turambav and it’s ancient culture. The state transport service provides extra buses to service the devotees, there is also plenty of additional space reserved to park the many private vehicles that arrive for the festival. Many volunteers and service personnel work through the nights to ensure that celebrations are conducted peacefully.