Dussehra or Vijayadashmi on October 5, on the tenth day of Navratri, celebrated Lord Rama’s victory over asura king Ravana as well as the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasur.
But the festive season is also about celebration — the joy in food, fairs, family, and friends. After all, the kathi roll and the luchi-kosha mangsho are as much part of the festive meal as the bhog served in view of the goddess; the Ferris wheel and make-shift merry-go-round as much a moment of joyful ecstasy as the effigy of Ravan exploding.
This is also a celebration that acknowledges a fact that is so often forgotten in the high-minded morality of good vs evil — in the crowds of devotees and the meetings with friends and family, there is a spark of divinity.
PM Modi attends Dussehra Festival in Kullu
In the nearly 400 years of the history of the world-famous Kullu Dussehra festival, Modi became the first Prime Minister to pay obeisance to Kullu Valley’s chief deity Lord Raghunath during the festivity.
With the assembly of tens of thousands of devotees once again after a gap of two years of lockdown restrictions, Lord Raghunath’s chariot was wheeled out from the historical temple in Sultanpur on the first day of Dussehra or Vijay Dashami, the day when the festivities end in the rest of the country. The traditional dance performed on the beats of dhadaks and notes of Narsingha trumpets remained one of the biggest attractions of the Kullu Dussehra celebration.
Idols of gods and goddesses from nearby villages are carried on the heads of worshippers and brought to the fairground where they meet their primary deity, Lord Raghunath. For seven days, the valley will now wear a celebratory look. On the last day, the procession is taken to the Beas River instead of burning the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarana, and Meghnada, the locals perform Lanka-Dahan, in which they burn a consortium of dry leaves and twigs.
Rajnath performs ‘Shastra Pujan’ at China border
Defense minister Rajnath Singh celebrated Vijaya Dashmi with the Indian Army and ITBP personnel at Auli Military Station in Uttarakhand and performed traditional ‘Shastra Pujan’.
The ritual of Shastra Puja forms an inevitable part of Dussehra celebrations for seeking the blessings of Goddess Parvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati for strength and power. As per Hindu scriptures, Lord Rama performed Shastra Puja before heading to the battleground against the evil king of Lanka, Ravana, who was killed on this day.
Mysore Dussehra: Showcase of grandeur and splendor
What makes Mysore Dasara unique is that on this occasion, the Mysore Palace is lit with a million lights for an entire month. The festival also showcases elephant processions in which the animals are richly decorated. The procession of the Goddess Chamudeshwari was taken out on a golden Ambari, a golden palanquin-like structure on the elephant.
Madikeri Dasara, Karnataka
Dasara is celebrated on a grand scale in Karnataka’s Madikeri. The grand festival has a long and captivating history that talks about the supremacy of the Haaleri Kings. It is also known as the Mariamma festival where folk dances dedicated to Draupadi are performed. It is one of the most unique Dussehra celebrations.
Dussehra in Andhra Pradesh
In Andhra Pradesh, the festival of Dussehra is celebrated in its own unique style. The women folk participate in ceremonies like Lalita Sahasranaama and Kumkuma Archana puja rituals, essentially for the well-being of their husbands. Vijaywada witnessed the celebrations by worshipping Kanaka Durga at the Kanaka Durga temple on Indrakeeladri hill.