Devotion to deity shines through

Devotees holding candles formed this striking image of deity Amba in Gandhinagar, the capital city of Gujarat state in India, last Thursday as part of the Navaratri festival.

Navaratri - meaning nine nights in Sanskrit - is a Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil and honours the mother goddess in her various manifestations.

As the name implies, the festivities are spread over nine days.

In Gujarat, Navaratri is a major event, typically marked by pujas or prayers, devotional music, feasts, as well as group dances called the garba.

These gatherings, held in open spaces, see hundreds of participants, dressed in traditional costumes, dancing and clapping in unison as they twirl in concentric circles around a shrine to the goddess.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2017, with the headline 'Devotion to deity shines through'. Print Edition | Subscribe