Mahanavratri Festival a great success!

Gargi Trapathi in the middle with Payal and Nigam Patel and Divya Dhingra, winners of the Cash $5000 and $2000 prizes by Value World Travel

By Neena Badhwar

Mahanavratri Festival held at Rosehill Racecourse on Friday the 30th of September turned out to be a superb family event. Organised by Value World Travel the night was an incredible immersive experience for all as the evening started with puja, havan, prayers and chanting of mantras by select priests who gathered in the pavilion and created a spiritual atmosphere as Sydneysiders thronged to the venue.

The program started with the invocation of Goddess Durga and Goddess Saraswati – a captivating classical oddissi performance by Anahita Surya followed by ‘dashavataram’ performance by Anisha and a ‘Ganesh Stuti’ performed in Kathak by Aastha Rajvanshi.

Poornima Sharma and Shiva performing ‘Shiva Parvati’ Dance

With beautifully decorated and lit stage wishing all a happy Maha Navaratri it was an evening full of entertainment as the crowds were kept engaged by anything and everything. There was the graceful Krishna in blue posing away with people in various poses. There was the Goddess Durga who came and sat on stage while an impressive limousine had few young girls enjoying its interiors by going inside and sitting to get a picture taken.  On the other side there was a display of ”˜Ganesha’ pictures by Nilesh Kale.

Anahita Surya in ‘Durga’ pose

Neni Tiwari and Gargi Tripathi recieving the blessings of Ma Durga

Rajesh Batra sang Mata Ki Bhainte

Mata’s bhajan’s sung by Rajesh Batra, Dandia songs sung by the group Dandia Dhoom, Pupinder Mintu performed Punjabi pop as people danced.  An excellent ”˜Shiv Parvati’ dance performance choregraphed and performed by Poornima Sharma and Shiva who danced with a live snake. Poornima performed another item of Durga as Mahishsur Mardini an engrossing dance. Sydney’s rich culture was on display all around as people got their luck read through tarot reading, kids got their faces painted by another and food stalls sold Navaratri fasting food as well sweets and Chhole Bhature. It was a great show ending in drums performed by a Sydney Marathi group as the venue echoed with people dancing away in groups.


Sydney has witnessed another high as this cultural and religious festivity has sure become an event to look forward to every year. For a select few it was a lucky evening as Divya Dhingra won the $2000 cash prize from Value World Travel while Nigam and Payal Patel were all smiles as they won the biggest win of all – a take home cash prize of $5000. When asked what they would do with the money so overwhelmed was the couple that   they just said ‘don’t know yet’. Perhaps a trip overseas!

Sydney devotees enjoying a spiritual high

This successful evening’s credit goes to one and only Gargi Tripathi of Value World Travel who singlehandedly organized the show and what a show it was with over four thousand people who turned up and enjoyed every bit of the six hours of total festive entertainment.   And by publishing a souvenir ‘Sankalp’, Gargi Trapathi and Neni Tiwari have proved that they are the new horizon which promises a new beginning for us all. ‘Sankalp’ is a colour glossy souvenir which has articles by the Sydney community and has been edited by Rekha Rajvanshi. It was a fine effort under the stewardship of Gargi that all the Sydney community came together to present a wonderful festive spirit.  We all felt a divine presence of Ma Durga   in Sydney in a special way. Jai Mata Di!

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