Chaitra Navratri, also known as Chait Navratras, is the nine-day navratri festival observed in the hindu calendar month of Chaitra (March – April).
Chaitra Navratras starts on the first day in Chaitra month and ends on the ninth day of the month i.e., on the day of Ram Navmi.
As per the legends mentioned in the Puranas and other Hindu scriptures, Chaitra Navratri is the actual Navratri during which Goddess Durga was worshipped. But during the time of Ramayan war, Lord Ram worshipped Durga at the time of Ashwin month. Since then, Ashwin Navratri has become the main festive season to worship goddess Durga.
In 2012 Chaitra Navratri starts on 23rd March 2012.
Ghatasthapana is carried out on the first day of Navratri i.e., the Pratipada day and is continued for the next nine days.
On this day the kalash, symbolising Goddess Durga often with her image embossed on the side is placed in the puja room. This kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cowdung on to which seeds are sown. A small rectangular sand block is made and the kalash is put in the centre. The surrounding bed of sand is also seeded with grains.
The Ghatasthapana ritual is performed at a certain auspicious moment (mahurat) determined by the pundits.
2012 Chaitra Navratri Ghatasthapana Muhurta Timings :
Ghatasthapana Muhurta = 06:31:31 to 07:35:06
Duration = 1 Hour 3 Mins
Ghatasthapana Muhurta falls on Pratipada Tithi
Ghatasthapana Muhurta falls during Dvi-Svabhava Meena Lagna
During these nine days of navratri, Nine incarnations of Mata are worshipped. These nine incarnations of Mata are as follows :-