General Topics
History of Dussehra festival
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This article deals with the description of Dussehra festival. Dussehra is the festival which represents the victory of the good over the evil. India is a land of festivals. The origin of the Dussehra festival and its celebration has been described. The relative importance of Dussehra has been brought out. The places which are prominent for Dussehra celebration is also dealth with in detail.   

India a land of festivals:

India is known as a land of festivals. Beginning from the ancient ages to the modern day India, many rituals have been practiced in our country. India has been ruled by different dynasties starting with the invasion of Alexander from Greece and then by the different Muslim kingdoms of the Arab world and finally by the Europeans among which the English became the eventual rulers of India leaving a very few parts of India under the Portuguese rule. So every ruling community has left a mark of its culture and traditions on the Indians. As such a number of festivals are celebrated in India since the ruling communities, especially the Muslim community became the part and parcel of the Indian culture. Many of festivals of the Hindu community date back to the ancient history of India when the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata were written. Dussera and Deepavali are among the topmost festivals in India dating back to a very earlier period. In this article, we shall discuss the Dussera festival. Dussehra means the Tenth Day after the Navaratri (nine nights). This day is also known as Vijayadashmi, or Victory Tenth, because of the Victory of Rama over Ravana. It is also celebrated as the day the Hindu goddess Chamundeshwari killed the ferocious demon Mahishasura. The name of the city of Mysore in Karnataka is also perhaps derived from Mahisasura. The festival usually falls during the months of September or October of the English calendar.

Dussehra is celebrated:

Dussera or Dussehra and some people even spell it as Dassera means the tenth day. The festival begins with Navratras or the nine nights and the tenth day is the Dussehra of . The day is also celebrated as Vijayadasmi or the Victory Day because it is believed that Rama defeated Ravana and achieved his victory of this day. Rama is believed to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu during the Treta yug. The legend goes that Rama, Lakshmana and a troupe of monkeys led by Hanuman fought the army of Ravana, the ruler of Srilanka for ten days and finally became victorious on the tenth day with the killing of Ravana and freed Sita from his clutches. So this festival is regarded as the victory of the good over the evil.

how it is celebrated:

The Dusshera happens to be celebrated about twenty days before Diwali. It also coincides with Ramlila where the characters of Rama, Sita, Lakshamana and Hanuman beautifully dressed in the legendry costumes are taken out in processions and plays involving the scenes from Ramayana are enacted for several days before the Dussehra festival which finally culminated in the burning of the effigy of the Ravana on the tenth day after the navaratris. Recitations and music highlighting the life and actions of the legendry hero Rama are played during the intervening period before the Dussehra. In the Indian capital, Delhi the processions finally lead to the Ramlila grounds, a sprawling open ground in the centre of the capital where the effigies of Ravana and his brother Meghadoota and others are burnt towards the evening. An arrow carrying fire is hit on the effigies by the characters dressed as Rama and Lakshmana to burn the effigies which are already stuffed with fireworks and crackers which explode with a deafening sound. Thousands of spectators stand around to cheer the occasion and finally leave for their homes happily.

How Dussehra is celebrated in Kulu and Kangra:

In Himachal Pradesh, Kulu has a special attraction on the occasion of Dussehra. The celebration is magnificent against the backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains. The people of Kulu valley coming from the villages around the area are seen in the best of their colourful dresses. The local deities are taken in procession with the blaring sounds of musical pipes and drums.

Dussehra in Mysore :

The best place to watch and enjoy the festivities of Dussehra festival is Mysore where th celebration is a tradition beginning from the medieval times. It is a great show pomp and pageantry here. Mysore Dussehra or Nadahabba is the official state festival of Karnataka state. Dussehra celebrations were first started here in the 15th century by the Vijayanagar kings. In 2010, the 400th year of its celebration were held with great pomp and show. In Mysore, the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari is on golden plaque on the top of a decorated elephant . The idol is first worshipped by the royal couple as per tradition and the procession is taken around the Mysore streets. There are colourful tableaux which accompanied by dance troupes and musical bands. The procession starts from the Mysore Palace and ends at a place called Bannimantap where the banni tree is worshipped. It is believed that the Pandavas hid their weapons in the banni tree during the one year of their exile when they had to live incognito.