New Delhi, October 17: Wishing for a safe, healthy and prosperous planet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to people as Navratri began on Saturday.

"Many congratulations on the auspicious festival of Navratri. May Mother Jagadamba bring happiness, peace and prosperity to all of you. Jai Mata Di," PM Modi said in a tweet.

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In another tweet, he said, "Pranams to (hail) Maa Shailputri (first form of Goddess Durga worshipped) on Day 1 of Navratri. With her blessings, may our planet be safe, healthy and prosperous. May her blessings give us strength to bring a positive change in the lives of the poor and downtrodden."

The celebrations of Sharad (autumn) Navratri involve worshipping Goddess Durga and her nine forms. The fun-filled festival is celebrated in different ways across the country. Over the next nine days, devotees offer their prayers to Goddess Durga and observe fasts.

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Also known as Sharad Navratri, the occasion is believed to mark Goddess Durga's victory over demon Mahishasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. The 10th day of Sharad Navratri is celebrated as Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami.

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