Where is Dussehra Celebrated:
Dussehra is predominantly a northern Indian festival. Delhi and Varanasi are popular places to witness the celebrations.
Elsewhere in India, Dussehra festivities take place in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Mysore in Karnataka, and Kota in Rajasthan. Mysore Dussehra celebrations are particularly famous.
In West Bengal, Navaratri and Dussehra are celebrated as Durga Puja.
How is Dussehra Celebrated:
In northern India, plays and dance performances known as Ramaleela, depicting the life of Rama, commonly take place in the lead up to Dussehra day. These shows are especially big in Varanasi and Delhi. Don’t miss these 5 Popular Delhi Ramlila Shows.
Then on Dussehra, huge effigies of the demon Ravana are burned all over India.
In Mysore, as well as cultural performances and fairs, the highlight of the 10 day Dussehra celebration is grand parade of decorated elephants and guards mounted on horse back to escort the goddess through the city.
In Kullu, goddess deities are carried around on colorful chariots, and there is much dancing and revelry.
What Rituals are Perfrormed During Dussehra:
Dussehra is considered to be an auspicious time to worship tools used to earn an income. Nowadays, this includes laptops and cars! According to the legend in the epic Mahabharata, Arjuna hid his weapons in a tree and when he returned a year later, on the day of Dussehra, he safely retrieved them. He then worshiped the weapons, along with the tree.
Dussehra and Dussehra Procession in Mysore
Dussehra is the Nadahabba (state-festival) of the state of Karnataka.the name of Mysore is been derived from Demon Mahishasura. The city of Mysore has a long tradition of celebrating the Dussehra festival and the festivities there are an elaborate affair, attracting a large audience including foreigners.
The Dussehra festival completed 400th anniversary in year 2010. Now it is celebrated ad 403rd Anniversary. The Dasara festivities were first started by the Vijayanagar Kings in 15th Century, after the fall of Vijayanagar Kingdom, The Wodeyar’s of Mysore continued the Dussehra Festival by, Raja Wodeyar I (1578-1617 CE) in the year 1610 at Srirangapatna. Mysore Palace is lit up on all the 10 days of Dussehra.
The festivities begin with the Wodeyar royal couple performing a special pooja to Goddess Chamundeshwari in the chamaundi Temple located on the top of chamundi Hill,Msyore. This would be followed by a special durbar (royal assembly). It was during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in the year 1805, when the king started the tradition of having a special durbar in the Mysore Palace during Dussehra; which was attended by members of the royal family, special invitees, officials and the masses. This tradition has been continued even now with the current scion of the Wodeyar family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar holding a private durbar during Dussehra.