A large number of devotees thronged temples of Goddess Durga across the country on Saturday, the first day of the Navratri festival, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several measures, including installation of sanitisation tunnels and banning offerings like flowers and 'prasad' to the Goddess Durga, were put in place by temple administrations at various places.
Elaborate security arrangements were also made at the temples in view of the rush of pilgrims.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to people on the beginning of Navratri and wished them happiness, peace and prosperity.
Here are a few glimpses of how Indians marked the first day of the nine-day festival.
IMAGE: Devotees offer prayers at Jhandewalan Temple on the first day of Navratri festival, in New Delhi, on Saturday. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo
IMAGE: Devotee offers prayers for Kalash Sthapna on the first day of Navratri festival, at Khermai Temple in Jabalpur, on Saturday. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Pilgrims wave as they walk towards Mata Vaishno Devi temple, at Katra about 45km from Jammu, on Saturday. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Children along with their parents visit Bara Hanuman Temple on the first day of Navrati festival, in Amritsar. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Devotees undergo thermal screening as they arrive to offer prayers at Sheetla Mata Mandir in Gurugram. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal flags off eight chariots with idols of Goddess Durga, at Jhandewalan Temple in New Delhi. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo
IMAGE: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa offers special prayers to Goddess Chamundeswai atop Chamundi Hill for a traditional start of the Dasara Navratri festivities, in Mysuru, on Saturday. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Devotees maintaining social distancing visits the Kalibari temple in Shimla. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Devotees get their hands sanitised as they visit Durga temple in Varanasi. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Police personnel urge devotees to maintain social distancing as they arrive to perform rituals at Goddess Alopi Devi Shakti Peeth Temple in Prayagraj. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: Devotees offer prayers at Jhandewalan Temple in New Delhi. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo
IMAGE: Devotees stand in queues to offer prayers at Budhiya Mata Temple in Gorakhpur. Photograph: PTI Photo
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