In India, the diversity of cultures is shown by the different way of celebrating a festival in different parts of the country. Dussehra is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated in various forms across India. The name Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara literally means Dashanan ravan (Name of devil & in short Dasha and Hara (defeat) referring to Lord Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana
We bring you five places in India, you must visit to witness Dussehra Festival.
Varanasi has always been a magnet for the spiritual, the religious and holy seers. During the ten days of the Dussehra, the city becomes famous for its Ram Leela. , Ramnagar 15 kilometers from the main city is transformed into a large Ram Leela ground. Structures are built and different spaces represent different locations in Ramayana. Sadhus come to Ramnagar from all over the country during this time.
The ten day celebration begins with Mahalaya (day one) and ends on Bijoya Dashami. Pandals are scattered all over the city, each with their own theme, and Pandal Hopping is the thing to do. If it’s the famous Ahiritola Sarbojanin puja you want to attend, (five minutes from the Shovabazar metro station), you can couple it up with the Kumartuli Sarbojanin and Chaltabagan Lohapatty pujas, only a short walk away. A prettier way to see the proceedings is to go via ferry on the Hooghly river.
On the first day of the festival the idol of Lord Raghunathji is brightly attired and is pulled from its static place to different spots in the ground by big ropes. The pulling of ropes is regarded as sacred by the locales. The idols of gods and goddess from across the village are carried to pay homage to Lord Raghunathji, their main deity. On the last day of the festival, the idol of Lord Raghunathji is taken to the Beas River where a pile of wood grass is set on fire, which signifies the burning of Lanka.
The city is decked to the core, throughout the festival, and all that everyone does is wait for the evening for the Garba and Dandiya Rasa. In Gujarat, people worship goddess Amba during this festival. According to superstition, women will be blessed with a child if they have darshan of the goddess on Ashtami.
As a part of the celebration, houses, shops and all abodes in the city are decorated and illuminated for the entire duration of Dussehra. One of the major attractions is the procession or the Jamboo Savari held on Vijayadashami, during which the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed in a golden howdah on top of a decorated elephant. Colourful tableaux, dance groups, music bands, folklores, the royal identities, decorated royal animals form a part of the procession, which starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantap, where the Banni tree is worshipped.
So where and how are you going to celebrate Dussehra? Which evil in our society are you planning to burn?