India is a big country and is known for its unity in diversity. Due to the diverse culture in our country, Dussehra is celebrated in many various forms and traditions. If you want to experience it then here’s the list of best Dussehra celebrations in India that are beautiful and really diverse.
This is one of the most famous Dussehra celebrations in India and was started by Raja Jagat Singh in 1637. During the 10 days celebrations around 200 local deities and demigods from all the neighbouring villages are brought to Dhalpur maidan to participate in Lord Raghunath ’s rath yatra.
Unlike other places in the country, the celebrations start here on Vijayadashmi. The festival ends with the Lankadahan ceremony (symbolised by dry leaves, grass and twigs) on the banks of Beas River. The whole of the area is full of many exhibitions, food stalls, cultural performances and more.
When: 19-25 October, 2018-10-16
Where: Dhalpur Maidan in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh
Chennai’s Bommai Kolu
With the coming of Dussehra, the houses of Chennai is gets decked up with kolus. Kolus is actually a tier wise arrangement of idols made up from wood. It depicts Goddess Durga’s battle with demon Mahishasura as well as few episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata, local wedding rituals, folk songs and more.
The royal family of Mysore makes sure that the celebration of Mysore Dasara is done with the entire hustle bustle and grandeur. The famous Mysore palace is lit up with 100000 bulbs which make the palace look spectacular. During the festival, they honour the Goddess Shakti. There are numerous cultural activities, performances, parades, traditional procession on the street. The evenings are beautified by the torch-light parade.
When: 10-19 October 2018
Kolkata Durga Pujo
No list is complete without a mention of Kolkata Durga Pujo celebration. There is no street that is not coloured in the colours of Durga Puja. The city makes sure to put across the most gorgeous pandals each having a story to tell or based on a theme. This is also the time to feast on some delicious food items available in the pandals. The celebration really does make this place a city of joy.
Bastar Dussehra Chattisgarh
Bastar Dussehra is all about spirituality, nature and Goddess Danteshwari. The festival was started by the 13th century Bastar King Purushottam Dev in Bade Dongar. It is a 75 days festival that has some unique traditions like worship of wood which is known as pata jatra, urn installation called kalash staphna, a conference of tribal chiefs called muria durbar and more.
People are dressed in bright traditional attires. When here for the celebration you would witness intriguing things like a boy buried shoulder-deep in a pit for nine days or a girl swinging on a bed of thorns. Apart from this, you will also come across a lot of mediums possessed by local deities.
When: 11 August – 22 October 2018
Where: Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh
Being the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi, also known as Banaras, holds a great importance in the Hindu religion. The oldest ramlila also has been happening here since the past 200 years. It happens beside the Ramnagar fort as the entire area is transformed into a stage with structures representing Ayodhya, Ashok Vatika and Lanka.
When: 23 September – 24 October 2018
Where: Ramnagar, on the banks of the Ganges River opposite Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Kulasekarapattinam, Tamil Nadu
This is one of the most outstanding celebrations when it comes to Dussehra. The festival required the pilgrims of 300-year-old Mutharamman temple to dress up as goddesses, gods or animals and channel the spirit of Goddess Kali as this temple is dedicated to her. People dance holding flaming clay pots in their hands.
When: 10 – 19 October 2018-10-16
Where: Kulasekarapattinam, Tamil Nadu
Madikeri Dussehra, Karnatak
Another beautiful and diverse celebration when it comes to Dussehra, Madikeri is known to have a celebration that is dedicated to Goddess Draupadi. The celebration starts with a folk dance called karaga. There is also a precession of 10 hi-tech mechanical idols of Gods and Goddesses which happens on the ninth day of the celebration. The night is full of loud music and a lot of dancing and it continues till the next morning.
When: 10 – 19 October 2018-10-16
Where: Madikeri, Coorg
Not just a hub for IIT aspirants, the city of Kota is also a place to witness one of the best Dussehra of the country. The highlight of the event is the massive fair that takes place near the Chambal River. Apart from various food items, cultural programs, there are artisans coming from all over the country to try to sell their products. By evening effigies of Ravan are burned to depict the victory of good over evil.
When: October 18 – November 5 2018
Where: Kota, Rajasthan