Makharotsav, a uniquely Goan Navratri
A distinct feature of the Navratri celebrations in Goa is the 'Makharotsav' festivities held in several temples across the state at this time of the year.
With its origins in the Ponda taluka, 'Makharotsav' in this taluka are the most famous in Goa, and have been celebrated for ages.
A 'makhar' is a rectangular wooden frame which is suspended from the ceiling of the temple using chains, and is almost like a swing. An idol of the god/goddess is placed within this 'makhar'.
These 'makhars' are beautifully decorated with plenty of flowers, colourful paper decor, etc.
During the 'aarti' ritual, these 'makhars' are swung to the accompaniment of musical instruments, while devotees sing 'bhajans' to add to the devotional ambience.
Some of the best temples to witness the 'Makharotsav' celebrations in Ponda taluka are Mahalasa Narayani temple at Mardol, Shri Manguesh temple, Naguesh temple and Shri Mahalakshmi Temple in Bandora, Shree Shantadurga Devasthan in Khandepar, and Ramnath Temple in Bandora.
'Makharotsav' is a ritual which is unique to Goa and can be seen in several temples during the 9 days of Navratri that preceed the festival of Diwali.