Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is the popular of Indian festivals that takes place in the months of Ashwin and kartik. Hindus observe a 10 day ceremony of fast, celebrations and rituals to honor the victory of Lord Rama over demon and evil power Ravana. Dussehra also symbolizes the victory of Mother Goddess Durga over the demon that takes the shape of a buffalo, Mahishasura. Thus, it is a celebration of victory of good over the evil. This celebration starts from Navratri and ends with the tenth day festival of “Dussehra”. This festival is celebrated in varied manner all over the country. In Delhi it is known as Ram Lila, in West Bengal it is known as Durga Puja, in Mysore it is Dasara, in Gujarat the festival is known as ‘‘Navaratri’ and perhaps the most celebrated festival of the country. Here I have listed the major Dussehra capitals in India.
Top 10 Top 10 Dussehra capitals of India
Durga Puja, Kolkata
Durga is the most waited and celebrated festival of west Bengal, especially in Kolkata. Considered as the Mother of all celebrations, Durga Puja is an event that transforms the whole city and sees frantic activity round the clock. Over crowded streets, huge pandals, minarets, domes, mountain cliffs, and magnificent lighting depicting current scenario or current affairs make the 4 days of Durga Pujo in Kolkata an unforgettable event.
Ahmedabad, Gujarat is one of the best places to enjoy Navratri. The atmosphere is full of revelry. Throughout Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated with joy and religious fevour. This festival is essentially religious in nature. It is celebrated with utmost devotion in several temples dedicated to the Mother. The images of mother are also worshiped in several homes. Gujarat is the only state that holds a nine night dance festival ‘Rasa-Garbas’,’ Dandia ras’, perhaps the longest in the world. People flock each night to celebrate the power of Shakti.
Durga Puja, Mumbai
Durga puja is organized by Bengali Goldsmiths every year in Mumbai, making it a very big budget affair. Today there are more than 100 Sarbojonin Durga Puja held across Mumbai and its sprawling suburbs. Santa Cruz Vashi, Andheri, RK Mission at Khar are some of the prominent places in the city that evidenced glorious Durga Puja every year.
Dasara is a 10-day festival in the region. It’s a Royal Festival celebrating victory of truth over evil. During thedays of the festival the tranquility of the region definitely takes a back seat. The most striking part of the Dasara celebrations is the Vijayadashami procession held on the last day. According to Hindu Mythology Goddess Durga slew the demon Mahishasuran on Vijayadashami day. on this day Chamundeshwari, seated in the golden howdah of an elephant is progressed for 2.5 miles starting form the palace grounds.
Katra, near Jammu city, is the Navaratra Capital of India. Devotees flock into Katra for Navratri festival. It is a tradition since last years. Katra glows in dazzling lights during the full nine days of Navaratri. With chants of “Jai Mata Di” filling the air, large number of people arrives here from across the country. Devotees congregate in large numbers at the holy cave dedicated to Mata Vaishnodevi at Katra in Jammu, to take part in the Navaratri festival.
Kullu Dussehra is observed in the month of October in Himachal Pradesh state in India. It is celebrated in the Dhalpur maidan in the Kullu valley. It begins on VIjaya Dashmi and continues for seven days. The festivals celebrate the triumph of the Lord Ram over evil and witness huge influx of tourists. Around 200 local deities including goddess Hadimba from Manali arrive in to pay genuflection to presiding deity Lord Raghu Nath Ji.
Ramlila, Durga Puja Delhi
Delhi has a blend of Ramlila and Durga Puja. There are almost 1000 Ramlila and 250 puja pandals events are held in the city. Durga puja has been organized in the capital city before independence and the prominent ones are the pujas at Kashmiri Gate, Chittranjan park and the New Delhi Kalibari.
Dussehra Mela, Kota
During Dussehra, a huge mela is held at Kota, Rajasthan to mark the festival Dussehra. Unlike the other festivals in Rajasthan, Dussehra mela is held only for 3days and does not get over crowded by tourists. On the last day the effigies of the Ravana clan are burnt. Rajasthani handicrafts, joy rides and the food stalls are the prized possessions of this mela.
Dussehra, Jagdalpur, Bastar
The most important festival in Bastar is the Dusshera when all the deities from the surrounding villages unite at the temple of Danteshwari in Jagdalpur, the district head quarters. Unlike Dusshera in other parts of India, here it is not the return of Rama to Ayodhaya. Dusshera in Bastar is devoted entirely to the goddess, Danteshwari Devi. The festival involves participation of all the major tribes of Bastar.
Ramleela, Ram Nagar, Varanasi
Ramlila in Ram Nagar, about 15 km form Varanasi, is unique of its kind. Ramleela is conducted in multi-stage theatres at a long stretch of 31 days. Sadhus called `Ramayanis` recite the Ramayana. The “Ramnagar Ramleela”, witness teeming tourist every year.