Planning a holiday trip to enjoy the festive season, take a look at the places to view the best celebrations of the Dussehra festival.
Dussehra is a nine-day festival celebrated once in a year across the country with different customs and traditions. Do not miss to witness the glory of the festival by visiting the places given below.
Different communities in different states follow a variety of traditions all these nine days. So Dussehra is commonly called ‘Navratri’ meaning ‘nine days’ festival. The essence of the festival is celebrating the ‘Victory of the Good destroying the evil’. There are multiple stories believed by the locals giving the same morals everywhere.
Nine places in India to visit during Navratri festival:
Celebrations start much earlier in West Bengal starting with Durga Mahalaya and ending with Visarjan on Dasami. Experience the joy of real festival at Kolkata during Durga puja. The whole area is covered with amazingly decorated pandals, music, food stalls, looks colorful with people dancing all around wearing traditional clothes.
Recently Pandals are designed with a theme causing social awareness on different societal issues. Also, you can find delicious and incredible varieties of Bengali cuisines in the highly crowded streets.
Sindoor Khela or Sindoor Fest is a traditional festival celebrated by Bengali Hindu women on the last day of Navaratri. I.e. on Vijaya Dasami. This ritual is only for married women who believe that participating in this festival brings good luck and long life to their husbands.
Dasara festival is celebrated for 10 days in Mysore, Karnataka. Mysore royals look after the grand celebrations every year and this tradition is followed the past four hundred years. Mysore palace is lit up with thousands of lights for these ten festival days, People celebrate the festival grandly in Mysore. In these festive days, a program is conducted every day based on a certain theme with music, a dance depicting the culture of Karnataka.
From 1880, the festival is a huge celebration here and it looks like a mela with local food stalls, shopping, joyrides, etc. Majestic Dussehra possession is carried out which is known as Jumbo Savari. You can go on a heritage tour to Mysore witnessing its glory and glamour.
One more significance of this festival is that the royal throne is placed open to the public in the durbar hall and you get a chance to witness it only these ten days.
Another royal lead festivity is seen in Kullu where devotees carry the gods and goddess idols to the ground to meet the head of the gods, Lord Raghunath. In Kullu, this festival is celebrated for seven days. On the last day, a pile of wood is set on fire, representing the destruction of Ravana’s Lanka.
The entire procession is led by Kullu king, filled with music and dance. You can go for handicraft shopping to buy famous hand-made flutes or grab some time to taste the local food in the nearby stalls.
In Gujarat, the festival is celebrated for nine days with a full-night traditional dance called Garba or Dandiya. It’s a world record as only this festival has dance performed the whole for nine days continuously.
Nine nights are divided into three sections, each section of 3 days is represented by a goddess. The first section is for Durga (the goddess who destroys evil forces and impurities), second is for Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and happiness) and third is for Saraswati (the goddess of wisdom and prosperity).
Every evening after puja, the live music begins followed by dance (moving in circles with playing sticks in hands) till late at night. The music is traditionally acoustic with singing and drums, a music blend with modern instruments.
On the tenth day Vijayadasami, puja is performed blessing the vehicles, and this is an auspicious day to buy new vehicles. Plan for a religious pilgrimage during the festival covering all Shakti Peethas, Khodiyar Mandir and Chamundi Mata mandir.
The Dussehra festival in Delhi is full of entertainment and excitement. During the nine days of the festival, night skies are filled with fireworks. Effigies of Ravana are exploded in public parks crowded with people during nights.
Popular Ramlila shows (enactment of epic Ramayana) are held in Redfort grounds and Ramlila maidan. These shows start a few days before Vijaya Dasami, and on the final day, the victory scene of Rama killing the devil is depicted by burning huge effigies of Ravana and his brothers.
Dussehra in Varanasi gives you a different experience altogether. Here you can witness the customs of Ramlila in a Delhi style and Durga puja in a Bengali style. You can view huge crowds gathering on the ghats of the Ganges river to celebrate Ganga Dussehra.
It’s believed that Ganga Dussehra is celebrated when river Ganges came from heaven to earth. Festival boat rides are famous here in this holy city.
Barara is a small town in Haryana where the world’s largest effigy of Ravana is burnt. It’s one of the places in India where you can see the celebration of Dussehra at its peaks. More than 200 feet effigy is burnt every year celebrating the victory of Rama over Ravana.
You can also know more about old-culture and traditions by taking a tour in Barara. Also, Barara is famous for watermelon, called ‘Barara Di Khanda”.
Located in the hills of Coorg, Madekeri is famous for the Dasara festival which is celebrated for 10-days. People here follow the traditions started a century ago, started as a festival to honor local goddesses.
During the festival, the entire hill-top is decorated with colorful lifts. Dances are performed the whole night during these days with traditional music. You can also view huge floats carrying deities of various lords and various demon-slaying acts are performed.
At mid-night of Vijayadasami, the whole town gathers to dance in crowds enjoying the Orchestra. The hill looks so bright with lights and people making merry and tourists visit this place especially to take part in the night event.
Kota is located in Rajasthan on the banks of the Chambal river. Here the festival is celebrated for nine days. On the day of the Dasara festival , the victory of Rama is enacted by burning 75-feet tall demon effigies. All the villagers gather with a variety of color garments to hail the victory of Rama.
There is a schedule prepared on Kota Dasara Mela well-in advance before the start of the festive season.
You can reach all the places mentioned above by air, train or bus. What are you still waiting for? Enjoy these festive holidays with your friends and family by visiting those famous places in India. If you plan perfectly, you can cover all the places in Navratri (nine-days).
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