The festive season is here again! It’s time for yummy sweets, long talks with friends and family, and a whole lot of celebration. It’s also the time when India looks most beautiful, showcasing its diversity. The whole country is gearing up to celebrate dusshera, the festival of good over evil. But how we celebrate dusshera or bijoya dashami is unique in every part of the country. Here are 12 different ways in which dusshera is celebrated in different parts of India:
1. Durga Pujo Pandals in West Bengal
Everybody loves a good pujo and pandal. Bijoya dashami is celebrated colourfully in West Bengal with Durga pujo. There are huge intricately decorated pandaals with games, puja, delicious bhog and the lively dhunuchi dance. The vijay dashmi images from pujo are spectacular.
2. Jumbo Savari in Mysuru, Karnataka
Dusshera, known as Dasara in Mysuru is celebrated with great pomp and fervor. People celebrate the killing of the demon-king Mahishasura (after whom the city is named) by the goddess Chamundeshwari - also known as Durga. The goddess is celebrated as a warrior with a huge military parade lovingly known as the Jumbo Savari, along with athletic competitions and cultural performances. It’s a sight to behold.
3. Mariamma Festival in Madikeri, Karnataka
There’s one more unique way of celebrating dusshera in Karnataka that we have to talk about. Madikeri is a hilly town in Karnataka that celebrates dusshera with the Mariamma festival. There are four temples in the town dedicated to goddess Mariamman and each has its own distinctive karaga or ritualistic folk dance that’s performed for ten days.
4. Garba and Navratra in Gujarat
Dusshera celebrations in Gujarat are unmissable! Bijoya dashami is celebrated as navratri in Gujarat. There are nine auspicious nights ending with dusshera. Every night, people dress up in traditional kedias or lehenga cholis and come together to dance the energetic garba. It’s an amazing nine-day long party!
5. International Mega Dusshera Festival in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Kullu is known for its huge International dusshera festival that is held every year in Dhalpur maidan to worship Lord Raghunath, another name for Lord Ram. In vijay dashmi images from Kullu, you can see the lakhs of people who come from all over the world to celebrate this festival. A massive procession goes around the valley and villagers bring the idols of local gods and goddesses to the main ground for the festival. The whole valley is decked out in celebration.
6. Effigy Burning on Dusshera in Delhi
Dilliwalas like to celebrate with fireworks, and dusshera is no exception. On the nine days of navratri in the capital city, one can usually find lively Ram Leelas going on, which are street plays depicting the Ramayana. But on the day of dusshera, huge effigies of Ravana’s ten heads and his brothers Meghnad and Kumbhkaran are burned in large open grounds to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
7. Ram Leela in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Delhi may have its small Ram leelas, but Varanasi really takes the cake on this one. A spectacular Ram leela is performed next to Ramnagar fort in Varanasi for dusshera celebrations. The area around the fort is converted into a huge stage showing important locations from the story. The performance of Ram leela is lively with music, masks, and paper mache figures.
8. Jagrata and Kanjak in Punjab
Punjab celebrates dusshera by honouring the goddess Shakti. People perform jagrata, staying up all night and singing devotional songs. They also keep a fast for the first seven days of navratri and break the fast on the eighth day with kanjak puja. In kanjak puja, young girls are invited to houses in the neighborhood and worshipped as goddesses.
9. Bommai Kolu (Golu) in Tamil Nadu
This colourful form of bijoya dashami celebration is truly fascinating. In bommai kolu, people create tableaus displaying goddess Durga’s defeat of Mahishasura or scenes from the Mahabharata or Ramayana. These displays are made out of colourful clay dolls arranged in seven tiers. Versions of bommai kulu are conducted all over South India but have different names.
10. Dusshera Mela in Kota, Rajasthan
The mela for bijoya dashami is the most important cultural event of the year in Kota. A large mela is held for 25 days, featuring displays by local craftspersons and cultural performances including Kavi Sammelan (poet collective), mushaira, and Rajasthani folk music. More than 75 feet talk effigies of Ravan and his brothers are burned and the Ram leela is also performed.
11. Bathukamma in Telangana and parts of Andhra Pradesh
Bathukamma is a celebration of goddess Gauri, an avatar of goddess Durga. The word bathukamma literally means “mother goddess, come alive.” This colourful festival is celebrated with tons of flowers. Women make small “batukammas” or towers of seven concentric discs and dance around them every evening until a large final celebration on dusshera.
12. Bastar Dusshera in Chattisgarh
Last but certainly not least, we have Bastar Dusshera. This is one of the longest dusshera celebrations in the world, lasting for over 75 days! Devi Danteshwari is the presiding deity of Bastar and she is celebrated throughout the whole festival. Many rare and fascinating rituals are performed throughout this period, including muria darbar, a conference of tribal chiefs.
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