The Navratri festival is celebrated with tremendous zeal across the Raigad and Navi Mumbai regions. Over nine days, a multitude of religious events takes place at the Shrikshetra Panchayat Temple, under the auspices of the JM Mhatre Charitable Organization in Khalapur.
In the wake of the Irshalwadi tragedy in the Khalapur area, local brothers found refuge in the Shrikshetra Panchayat Temple for a period. During this time, a deep bond was formed with the JM Mhatre family.
Irshalwadi brotheers' Ganapati celebrations at Varsha
Several months following the tragedy, life gradually began returning to normal. During Ganapati celebrations, the Irshalwadi brothers paid their respects to the deity by conducting an aarti at the Varsha residence of the Chief Minister, a gesture of gratitude.
One day during Navratri, the honor of performing the Aarti of the Goddess at the Srikshetra Panchayat Temple was bestowed upon these brothers. Pritam Mhatre, President of the organization, remarked on the occasion, "My entire family and I had longed to partake in the Goddess's Aarti during Navratri. Hence, we organized a grand Maha Aarti in the temple, attended by my mother and other family members, who graciously invited the Irshalwadi brothers."
Traditional tribal dance was held at the panchayat hall
As part of the festivities, a traditional tribal dance was held at the panchayat hall. Witnessing their gradual recovery from their past suffering was heartening. They expressed their hopes that the goddess would endow them with strength for their future endeavors.
During this event, the devotees present for darshan also participated in the Maha Aarti, seeking blessings from the Goddess.