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Nabapatrika or Navapatrika – Nine leaves of plants used during Durga Puja

Navapatrika, or Navpatrika, are the leaves of nine plants used during Durga Puja rituals in Bengal, Orissa and other parts of Eastern India. ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘Patrika’ means plants in Sanskrit and this is installed in the Durga Puja pandal on the Maha Saptami day. The nine plants (Nabapatrika) are wrapped in a white or red sari and symbolically represent Durga. Nine plants represent nine forms of Durga - Mother Nature.

Most people who are not aware of Durga puja rituals might have noticed banana leaf or plantain being carried to nearby river and pujas performed on Maha Saptami. The plantain and eight other plants are wrapped in the white sari and this is the Navpatrika. This is part of the Ghata sthapana ceremony.

The nine plants that are used include plantain (Banana), Kachvi or Kacci or Kachu, Turmeric, Barley, wood apple (Bilva), pomegranate, Asoka, manaka or Mana and rice paddy or Dhanya.
  1. Banana with stem and leaves or plantain symbolically represents Brahmani.
  2. Kachvi represents Kali. The plant is locally known as Kacci.
  3. Turmeric represents Durga.
  4. Jayanti represents Karttiki.
  5. Wood apple or Bilva represents Shiva. Wood apple is referred as Bil patra or Vilva.
  6. Pomegranate, locally known as dadima, represents Raktadantika.
  7. Ashoka represents Sokarahita.
  8. Manaka, also known as Arum, represents Chamunda.
  9. Rice paddy represents Lakshmi.