Everyone loves the dose of festivities, and what better country than India to celebrate colourful and vibrant festivals. Our culturally rich country gives you all the right reasons to experience the ethnic diversity of the country. Most of the festivals in India give a message of the triumph of good over evil; but, Dussehra is the biggest of them all. Also known as Vijaya Dashmi in some eastern, north-eastern and southern states of the country, Dussehra entails glittery decorations, fireworks, food and fiesta. The festival, which will be observed in the 2nd week of October this year, is celebrated in different styles in different regions of the country.
Unique Dussehra Celebrations Across India
Read on to learn more about the festival and how people across different regions of India celebrate it.
What is the festival about?
Dussehra marks the day when Shri Rama killed the demon king, Ravana, in a fierce battle that lasted nine days. There is another legend associated with the festival. According to it, Goddess Durga killed the mighty buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura, on the tenth day of an intense battle. Goddess’ killing of Mahishasura is celebrated as Vijay Dashami in Kolkata.
Different styles of celebrations
Dussehra is celebrated differently in various parts of the country. At some regions, people take part in Ram Leela; however, people in some other localities commemorate the festival by engaging in public processions.
Processions: People in some parts of the country take out large processions. They carry idols of Durga, Lakshmi, Ganesh, Saraswati and Kartik to immerse either in a river or in a large water body. People, in such processions, can be seen enjoying music, dancing and singing.
Ram Leela: In some places, people take part in Ram Leela, which is a dramatic depiction of the Ramayana. In these dance dramas, people along with children are dressed up as Ramayana’s characters to enact the scenes.
Ravan Dahan: Ravan Dahan is the key attraction of Dussehra in some places in India. People burn the towering effigies down of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad to celebrate the destruction of evil.
All in all, Ravan Dahan, bursting crackers, colourful exhibitions and fairs organised in the cities make the festival an eventful time of the year. Irrespective of the city you are in during Dussehra, the celebrations will keep your ecstasy level at the highest.
Which cities celebrate it the best?
Though the celebrations in Kolkata and Mysore are quite popular, there are many other cities where the festival attract tourists from all over the country. If you haven’t planned anything special for Dussehra this year, we have got you covered with the list of best destinations for Dussehra celebrations in India.
The tradition of celebrating Dussehra festivities in Mysore dates back to the 15th century. For people down the south, Dussehra means Mysuru Dasara or Mysore Dasara, which is all about noble traditions and grandeur. The Mysore Palace is decorated with more than even 100000 light bulbs. All excited to visit the city on Vijay Dashami? Book the flights well in advance to save some bucks on your air tickets.
Come Dussehra, and the capital city gets a makeover. Delhi celebrates the festival with Ram Leela enactments and plays. Ram Leela Maidan is among the best places to see the musical drama. It is believed that the Ram Leela stage shows were started about 170 years ago. Burning of sky-high effigies of Ravana, his son and his brother is another major attraction of the festival celebration.
Vijaya Dashami is one of the biggest cultural celebrations in Kolkata. People take it to the streets to take part in the processions and accompany the idols of Goddess Durga to immerse them in the River Hooghly or other large water bodies. The beating of large drums, singing and dancing, add to the festive feel.
The people of Almora celebrate Dussehra with a vengeance. The festival is celebrated to revenge upon the demons of Ramayana. Statues of all the villains from Ramayana are made, and a parade is carried out on the streets. Almora is among the top places to visit during Dussehra. This parade ends in an open area where the statues of these evil characters are finally burnt to ashes. The entire Ravana clan is burnt by the locals in the form of effigies. A procession is taken out with music bands and decorations
One can witness all the traditional attractions at the Dussehra fair in Kota. A huge fair is held, which is accompanied by performances by local artisans, cultural performers and other programmes, giving you a look and feel of rural India. The villagers from every corner of the city dress up in traditional costumes and offer prayers to the lord. Finally, the effigies of Ravana are burnt. The fair is held alongside the Kota Adventure Festival.
Kulasekarapattinam is an offbeat village located in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. Here, Dussehra is celebrated in a unique way. Dussehra here is known as the Kulasai Dussehra festival and is celebrated in the 300-year-old Mutharamman temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The pilgrims and devotees dress up in the form of gods and goddesses for the celebration. These devotees then dance throughout the night for the celebration.
One of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi is among the best places to celebrate any festival. The ancient, spiritual city comes alive with a vibrant festive aura during Dussehra. Just like Delhi, Varanasi also hosts Ram Leela musical dramas which make this holy city everyone’s favourite place to visit for ten long days.
Dussehra festivities in Bastar are significantly different from the celebrations that take place across other regions of the country. You can see the distinct cultural trait of Chhattisgarh while celebrating Dussehra in Bastar. Spanning over ten days, the festival celebrations in this region is all about spirituality, nature and revering Devi Danteshwari.
Kullu gives Dussehra a unique twist by starting the celebrations on the day of Vijaya Dashami and extending it for another seven days. The tradition of celebrating the festival in this Himachali town was started in the 17th century, and today it attracts over 4 to 5 lakh global tourists every year. So, don’t let anything stop you from booking flight tickets to Kullu this year.
Madikeri, the central hub of Coorg celebrates Dussehra in more of a carnival-style than religious. The key highlight of the celebrations in this area is the procession that starts on the ninth night of the festival to end on the tenth morning, which marks Vijaya Dashami. Music, feasts and prayers make the festivities a grand affair.
Pick a place that suits your taste well and gives you the best vibes of the festivities. Before spending carelessly on your travel, check out our domestic flight offers to save some bucks that you can spend on the festival celebrations itself. We also provide cheap hotels to ensure you don’t have to struggle to find affordable accommodation while in a different city.