Want to know Why Dussehra is celebrated and where is it celebrated 2019? Read on.
Dussehra is a popular festival celebrated in all parts of India. This festival marks the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness. From fasting and feasting to fireworks, Dussehra is celebrated in various ways in different parts of the country. Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, Durga Puja, and Navratri in different parts of the country, is celebrated with great fervor all over India.
The Hindu community observes a 10-day ceremony of fast, rituals, and celebrations to honor the victory of Lord Rama over the evil king Ravana. Dussehra also marks the victory of Maa Durga over Mahishasura the demon. This whole festival revolves over the victory of good over evil. The celebrations start with Navaratri and end on the tenth day festival of Dussehra. This festival is known by different names in various parts of the country. In Delhi, it’s known as Ram Lila, whereas in West Bengal it’s celebrated as Durga Puja. In Mysore, it’s known as Dasara, and in Gujarat, it’s celebrated as Navaratri. Let’s take a look at the famous and best Dussehra celebrations in India.
1. Mysore Dasara
Mysore Dasara is one of the grandest of festivals in India. Started by Vijayanagara kings over 400 years ago, Mysore Dasara is considered to be the state festival of Karnataka. It is a grand celebration to mark the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari over demon Mahishasura. This 10-day festival reaches its pinnacle on the 10th day i.e. Vijayadashami when a procession of a 750 Kg idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken out for 2.5 miles with elaborately dressed elephants with a golden howdah. There is also a special Durbar held at the spectacularly decorated Mysore Palace which is attended by the royal family, officials, and the masses.
2. Kolkata Durga Puja
Kolkata literally transforms into the city of joy in lieu of celebrations for Durga Puja. The city wears a festive look round the clock with religious music and people dressed in traditional clothes. There are beautifully decorated pandals all over the city which depict the current situation or affairs and delicious food can be found all over at any time of the day. The last day of Puja is when the dramatic ceremony of Sindoor Khela happens where married women dress up in traditional sarees and smear each other with red sindoor.
3. Kullu Dussehra
Kullu Dussehra is another very famous Dussehra celebration well-known not only in India but also all around the globe. The celebrations are a little different than in other parts of India as it starts on the 10th day of Dusshera and continues for another week. Over 200 deities from neighboring villages are brought to the Lord Raghunath Temple and carried in a huge procession to Dhalpur Maidan. The chariot ride procession to Dhalpur Maidan is accompanied by local dance and music. Instead of burning the effigy of Ravana, the festival concludes with the Lankadahan ceremony symbolized by burning leaves, grass, and twigs on the banks of river Beas.
Navaratra which means 9 nights, is celebrated with great pomp and fervor all around Gujarat. Dussehra in Gujarat is celebrated as Navaratri with 9 nights of men and women dressed in traditional and colorful chaniya cholis, kediyus, and kafni pajamas dancing through the night to the beats of dhol. This traditional dance known as Garba happens every night for 9 days with loud beats and dandiya sticks. The iconic aarti dance in honor of mother goddess where thousands of people dance in circles around the detailed arrangement of earthen lamps to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
5. Kota Dussehra
Dusshera in Kota is marked with almost a month-long mela that includes cultural performances, costume plays, mesmerizing display of fireworks, and the best of Rajasthani food. On the last day of the mela i.e. Vijayadashami, huge 75 feet effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhakarna are set on fire to commemorate Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana. Artisans and craftsmen from nearby villages come to the mela to sell their wares here which are pretty unique. Kota Dussehra is one of the best Dussehra celebrations in India.
6. Ramleela Varanasi
Dussehra in Varanasi is a celebration one must witness. Varanasi is famous for its Ram Leela that has been performed around Ramnagar Fort since the 1800s. The entire area surrounding the fort is transformed into a stage to represent the main locations of Ramayana like Ayodhya, Lanka, Ashok Vatika, etc. The huge presence of the Bengali community here ensures that some parts of Varanasi transform into Kolkata and take on the Pujo flavor. The celebrations go on for a month and end in burning a tall effigy of Ravana on the last day.
7. Bastar Dussehra
The Bastar Dussehra is a 75-day long celebration in the tribal heartland of Chattisgarh. All the deities from the surrounding villages unite at the temple of Goddess Danteshwari in Jagdalpur. Dussehra in Bastar is all about nature, spirituality, and unique rituals like pata jatra (worship of wood), deri gadhai(posting of pillars), kalash staphna(urn installation), nisha jatra(nocturnal festival), muria darbar(conference of tribal chieftains) and ohadi(farewell to the deities). Its is one of the best Dussehra celebrations in India.
8. Delhi’s Ram Leela
Delhi has a blend of both Ram Leela as well as Durga Puja. The city dons a bright and festive avatar during Dussehra with over 1000 Ramlila and 250 Puja pandals set up in the city. One of the most famous Ramlila celebration happens at the Ramlila Maidan in Old Delhi. The celebrations end with burning tall effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhakarna on the last day with a splendid display of fireworks lighting up the night sky.
9. Madikeri Dasara
The splendid carnival in Coorg for Dussehra is a must-see experience. Celebrated for 10 days, Madikeri’s Dasara is also known as the Mariamma festival dedicated to Goddess Mariamma. The 4 temples dedicated to the Goddess have their own unique Karaga, which is a ritualistic folk dance dedicated to Draupadi and is performed during the Dasara festival. The highlight of the festival is the 10 elaborately done floated figures of gods, goddesses, and demons and the enacted dramas based on ancients stories of mythology.
Dussehra is a time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil and that’s why it becomes one of the most celebrated festivals in India. Celebrated in almost all parts of the country and taking various names, the main motive remains the same. The whole country wears a festive look for these 10 days and the celebrations are grand. The streets are filled with people dressed up in colorful clothing and the aroma of numerous special food and sweets fills the air. So, if you have looking to take in the essence of Dussehra, you should head to these best Dussehra celebrations in India 2019 to soak in all the variety this festival has to offer. Wishing you all a happy Dussehra.
You May Also Like: Durga Puja in Bangalore: Best Pandals for Zoloites to witness Durga Puja
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is Dussehra celebrated in India?
Dussehra is celebrated by Hindus in many parts of India. The celebrations differ in different parts of the country. In eastern India, Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja where the celebrations go on for 5 days with puja of Goddess Durga. In Delhi, Banaras, Ayodhya, Lucknow, and few other places, Dussehra is celebrated as Ram Leela where stages are set and the story of Ramayana is enacted. In the western part of India like Gujarat, Dussehra is celebrated as Navaratra where the goddess is worshiped and Garba is played for 9 days. In the southern parts of India like Mysore, Coorg, and others, Dasara is a grand procession where the local deity is worshiped and a grand procession is held on the last day of Vijayadashami. Burning of the effigy of Ravana takes place in most parts of the country on the last day of Dussehra celebrations to signify the triumph of good over evil.
2. What does the Dussehra festival signify?
Dussehra festival signifies the triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated all over India to honor the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
Navaratri celebrates the victory of Goddess Shakti over evil. The 9 nights of Navaratri commemorate the nine avatars of Goddess Durga.
4. What are the 9 avatars of Durga?
The 9 avatars of Goddess Durga are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidhatri.
- Day 1 – Ghastasthapana – Orange
- Day 2 – Dwitiya – White
- Day 3 – Tritiya – Red
- Day 4 – Chaturthi – Royal Blue
- Day 5 – Panchami – Yellow
- Day 6 – Sashti – Green
- Day 7 – Saptami – Grey
- Day 8 – Ashtami – Purple
- Day 9 – Ram Navami – Peacock Green
6. Which is the tallest Ravana effigy in India?
The world’s tallest effigy of Ravana is burnt at Barara (Haryana) every year on the day of Dushehra. This year the height of the Ravana effigy is 221 feet.
7. Which are the most popular Ramleela in Delhi?
- Ramleela Maidan
- Ramleela at Red Fort Lawns
- Ramleela at Subhash Maidan (Parade Ground)
- Ramleela at Lal Qila Maidan (Red Fort Ground)
- Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra theatre lawns
8. Why do we celebrate Durga Puja?
Durga Puja celebrates the triumph of Goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura. It begins on the same day as Navaratri, a nine-night festival celebrating the divine feminine.