Navratri means Nine (Nav) Nights (Ratri). Navratri or the Festival of Nine Nights from Ashvin Sud 1 to 9 is devoted to the propitiation of Shakti or Divine Mother. She represents prakriti, counterpart of purusha jointly making possible the creation of the world according to the religious ideology of Goddess worship. Such worships were prevalent in India even before the advent of the Aryans, who adopted it as a religious practice. References in vedas and puranas confirm this opinion. The main temples of mother goddess that are visited by multitude of devotees during Navratri are the shaktipithas, of which there are three in Gujarat. It is believed that Lord Vishnu had to cut the body of Sati into pieces to stop the destruction by Shiva who was perturbed by her death. At fifty-two places these pieces fell, the three in Gujarat being; Ambaji in Banaskantha, Bahucharaji in Chunaval and Kalika on Pavagadh hill in Panchmahals.
This festival is essentially religious in nature. It is celebrated with true devotion in the various temples dedicated to the Mother, or Mataji, as she is familiarly called. In some homes, images of the Mother are worshipped in accordance with accepted practice. This is also true of the temples, which usually have a constant stream of visitors from morning to night.