The parva of Navratri comes to an end with the Goddess Durga killing the demon king Mahishasura. Similarly, on the same day of Dashami, Lord Ram killed Dashanana aka Ravan, and freed his wife Sita from captivity. That is why this day is called Vijaya Dashami as well as Dussehra. For all the Hindus across the world, it is a very important festival. But each state and community has a different way of celebrating this festival and that is what makes the Indian festivities so unique.
The energy, the colours, the music - Dussehra in Mysore Palace is nothing short of a spectacle. When the sun sets and the Palace lights up with 100,000 light bulbs, that's when the real magic begins! Come, indulge in the festivities and make unforgettable memories.— Incredible!ndia (@incredibleindia) October 21, 2023
The Dasara or Dussehra celebrations in Mysore are very spectacular as the ritualistic celebrations have a touch of royal heritage from the city. The city in honour of the Goddess Chamundeswari who killed Mahishasura celebrates the entire Navratri for 10 days. The Mysore palace is illuminated beautifully with 100,000 light bulbs every evening from 7 to 10 PM. All through the Navratri, many religious and cultural programs are arranged.
The festivities reach their peak when the procession carrying the Goddess Chamundeshwari idol from Mysore Palace through the streets reaches the Banni Mantapa. The torch-light parade and celebrations take place on the outskirts of Mysore late in the evening on Dussehra.
Dussehra celebrations in Bengal, Odisha and Tripura
Kolkata trains all decked up for the Durga Puja holidays …. pic.twitter.com/Ad8zqOM9Kk— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) October 13, 2023
Navratri and Dussehra are big festivals in Bengal, Tripura, and Odisha. Unlike in many other states, the celebrations of Vijayadashami or Dussehra in this state are not much connected to the Ramayana battle. The people in these states relate the festival more with Goddess Durga and her victory over Mahishasura. The main festival starts from the 6th day onwards and various cultural programs are organised like singing, painting, dancing competitions, and poetry recitations.
From Sindoor daan, to offering sweets and betel leaves to Goddess Durga various rituals are performed during Navratri and on Dussehra.
Dussehra celebrations in Kullu
We are gearing up to make the International Kullu Dussehra 2023 a memorable one for you. We promise you that this Dussehra will be etched in your hearts forever.— DC Kullu (@DCKullu) October 20, 2023
District Administration Kullu
Dussehra Festival Committee#KulluDussehra2023 #IKD2023 #kullumanali pic.twitter.com/rxPixmKKCb
There is a rich tradition and culture of celebrating Dussehra in the Kullu Valley. On the occasion of Vijayadashami the Dhalpur maidaan in Kullu is decorated with flowers and lights. There is a story behind these celebrations. Around the 17th century, the local king of Kullu Jagat Singh installed the idol of Lord Ram as Raghunath on the throne on Dussehra and from then onwards God Raghunath was considered the ruling deity of the city. Interestingly, the effigies of Ravana are not burnt in Kullu. Instead, on the first day of Navratri, Goddess Hadimba is taken from the Manali temple to Kullu, and from there she is taken to the royal palace. Next, she is taken to Dhalpur maidaan in a big procession where she is joined by Lord Raghunath and the idols stay there till the end of the celebrations.
Exhibitions, fairs, and cultural programs are held in the maidaan. The chariot that carries all these gods and goddesses is later immersed in the Beas River and even a pile of bushes is set on fire on Dussehra to symbolise the burning of Lanka.
Dussehra in Gujarat
Gujarat is famous for its Navratri celebrations, garba and dandiya, and colourful dresses. In most parts of the state during the nine-day festival, devotees fast all through the day and put on vibrant coloured clothes in the evening and play dandiya and Garba. Many devotees often visit the temples of Ambaji, Chamunda Mata, and Ashapura Mata.
Ram Lila in Uttar Pradesh
#Bihar: The stage is all set for #Ravan Vadh, the burning of effigies at historic Gandhi Maidan, Patna. Elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of huge mass gatherings. The district administration has deployed thousands of security personnel and 88 magistrates.… pic.twitter.com/zxaqNBD3ne— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) October 23, 2023
Most of the life of Ram was spent in Uttar Pradesh, in and around Ayodhya. Hence during Navratri at various places, Ram Lila is performed, especially on Dussehra when the effigies of Ravana are burnt. Navratri celebrations are enjoyed in a grand way in U.P with devotees observing fast and performing kanya puja considering the nine kumarikas as nine Durgas. Halwa, puri, and chole or chane are the prasad that is offered to these kanyas and even at various bhandaras.