Devo­tees keep decades-old tra­di­tion alive at Be­la­pur

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Sang­hami­tra Sen­gupta sang­hami­tra.sen­gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Chants of Lord Rama filled the air on Fri­day as tem­ples were decked up and elab­o­rate ar­range­ments were made to mark Ram Navami Jan­mot­sav across the city.

The 153-year-old Ram Mandir at Be­la­pur vil­lage lo­cated on the banks of Am­rutesh­war pond cel­e­brates the fes­ti­val with grand fer­vour ev­ery year. The pro­grammes were or­gan­ised by the Ram Maruti Janam Ut­sav Man­dal trust, which was formed 60 years ago.

“Our cel­e­bra­tions be­gin days be­fore the Navami which is in­au­gu­rated on Gudi Padwa day and con­tin­ues for al­most 15 days till the next full moon day,” said Gan­pat Mha­tre, mem­ber of the trust.

“On Fri­day, at 12.40pm, the golden idol of Lord Rama was seated on a swing while the devo­tees re­cited shlokas,” he added.

To­wards mid­night on Fri­day, a pro­ces­sion car­ried the idol in a palan­quin around the vil­lage. The big­gest at­trac­tion of the fes­ti­val here was the ‘ja­traot­sav’

(vil­lage fair) which is one of the big­gest fairs or­gan­ised in the city. A wrestling com­pe­ti­tion was or­gan­ised on Ram Navami. Kir­tan man­dalis have con­gre­gated to sing bha­jans for the last three days and con­tin­ued till late night on Fri­day.

Many of the devo­tees who thronged the tem­ple said this has been a prac­tice for the

last many years to mark Ram Jan­mot­sav.

Sachin Karan­jekar, 69, a res­i­dent of Nerul, said, “It is a fam­ily tra­di­tion to come and cel­e­brate Ram Navami at the Be­la­pur vil­lage tem­ple for the past 40 years. My grand­fa­ther in­cul­cated this tra­di­tion in me and now I am im­bib­ing it in my grand­chil­dren.”

BACHCHAN KUMAR

Devo­tees pray at the 153-year-old Ram Mandir in Be­la­pur on Fri­day.

BACHCHAN KUMAR

Wrestlers take part in a com­pe­ti­tion on Ram Navami, a tra­di­tion in Be­la­pur.

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