Tuljapur Bhavani Temple
Bhavani is a form of Goddess Durga, the mother of all creationa as per in Hindu beliefs. She is held as the source of all power and energy. Tuljapur Bhavani Temple is the holy place dedicated to Goddess Bhavani, situated at Tujlapur in Osmanabad district, in the state of Maharashtra. The festival of Tujlapur Bhavani is held on the full moon day of the month of Ashwin (September-October).
Legend of Tuljapur Bhavani
The festival is celebrated in many parts of India as Dusshera or Navaratri. The Tuljapur Bhavani temple was built by the Maratha warrior Shivaji who was a great devotee of goddess Bhavani. Bhavani is believed to have killed the demon Mahishasura, who took the form of a wild buffalo, thus saving the world from his reign of terror which he had unleashed after attaining the boon of invincibility. According to legend, she vanquished another demon named Matanga. The demon had wreaked havoc upon mankind and not even the Gods could defeat him. Paying heed to the appeal of other Gods, Durga took the form of Bhavani and slaughtered Matanga. The festival is celebrated as a part of Navaratri to commemorate the victory of good over evil.
Celebration and rituals of Tuljapur Bhavani Festival
Tuljapur Bhavani festival is celebrated throughout four days and four nights and payers or worshipping is performed every day. The main rituals include Sasthi, the 6th day of the bright half of month, when the deity is welcomed; Bhavani Ashthami, the 8th day when the main Puja takes place. On this day devotees observe fast until they make offerings of flowers (known as ‘Anjali’) to the deity. The next day is Mahanavami when girls who have not yet reached puberty are fed and offered presents as they symbolize the young form of Goddess Bhavani. The last day of the festival is Vijayadashami and on this day the idol is carried to the river along with a flamboyant procession and immersed in the water. Devotees share sweets and rejoice the fact that the festival will be celebrated again the following year.
The poojas performed at Tuljapur Bhavani Temple is quite similar to Durga Puja in West Bengal. Both the pujas symbolize win of good over evils.