Navaratri is a nine-day long festival, dedicated to worshiping the Nine divine forms of Goddess Durga each day. The tenth day is observed as Vijaya Dashami – The day of victory.
Sandhikaal Pooja or Sandhi Pooja is an essential and important part of Durga Pooja, in Navaratri. Sandhi Pooja is also falls on Maha Asthami of Navaratri.
It is done at the juncture when Ashtami Tithi ends and Navami Tithi starts. It is believed that Devi Chamunda was appeared during this time to kill demons Chanda and Munda.
Sandhi Pooja prevails for two Ghatis which approximately lasts for 48 minutes. Sandhi Pooja Muhurta might fall at any time during the day and Sandhi Pooja is done during that time only.
When is it observed?
Sandhikaal Pooja is celebrated on 2nd October on Ashtami of ashwini month of Shaardiya Navaratri.
The last 24 minutes of Ashtami and first 24 minutes of Navami is regarded as the Sandhikaal. The total time taken is 48 minutes, of these 24 minutes is meant for Asthami and the next 24 minutes is for Navami.
This is the exact time at which Devi Durga slayed the notorious pair Chando and Munda. Thus Sandhi Pooja must be performed at this time every year. This time varies every year according to the lunar calendar. Sometimes it can be as early as 8 pm in the evening and at other times it can draw up to the wee hours of the morning.
Sandhi Pooja is regarded as the most important part of Durga Pooja . According to Hindu mythology it is the time when Goddess Durga was busy in destroying demon Mahishasur, his two allies' demon Chando and Munda who attacked Devi Durga from back. The Goddess was so infuriated by this breach of battle rules that her face turned blue. She opened her third eye with furiously and incarnated a blood curdling Goddess Kali from her fore head. She is the most fearful of all the forms of Goddess Shakti. This ferocious form of Devi slayed Chando and Munda and thus her name was known as Chamunda Devi. The Goddess Chamunda is worshiped with 108 lotuses and lit 108 earthen oil lamps on Sandhikaal.
Sandhi Pooja is celebrated to worship the Chamunda form of Goddess Durga.
During this pooja , Goddess Durga is thought to be in her most powerful form, 'Chamunda'. Sacrifices are offered in various places during this time of Sandhi Pooja . Buffalos and goats are sacrificed in front of goddess to portray her superior power. In recent times the Pani-Kakharu (White Pumpkin) sacrifice replaced animal sacrifice in various parts of the state.
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