Dussehra is one of the most popular and noteworthy festivals celebrated in India. It signifies the triumph of good over evil. The festival is celebrated on the tenth day of Navarathri.  It commemorates the Ramayana, where Lord Rama cemented the victory over the demon king Ravana. This is considered to be one of the most important festivals of the Hindus. Lord Rama is known to be one of the 10 incarnations of the god Vishnu, also known as the protector god of the trinity. Dussehra strengthens the path of the followers who are devoted to Lord Rama. The festival is 10 days long with the last day of Dussehra. Known as Vijaya Dashami, celebrated in various ways and festivities at different parts of India.

The Dussehra festival story and Its significance

Dussehra festival is a celebration of the Ramayana, which is a legendary epic and tale of Rama. Rama was a king who wins the heart and the right to marry princess Sita. As Sita and Rama got married and lived, the demon king Ravana planned and executed abduction. Ravana was the king of Lanka and acquired a massive army and supernatural powers that made him a threat.

According to the epic, the sister of Ravana fell in love with both Rama and Lakshamana, who is his younger brother. She wanted to marry one of them and after getting refused by both she decided to kill Sita in her anger. Lakshamana in a fit of anger and for making threats cut her ears and nose.

The demon king Ravana got to know about the attack on his sister and decided to take revenge by abducting Sita from the protective hands of Rama and Lakshamana. With his supernatural powers and cunningness, he distracts Rama and Lakshamana while tricking Sita to cross the sacred boundary called Lakshmana rekha. Sita was abducted and held captive in the Kingdom of Lanka.

Dussehra 2019 stage drama
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In order to rescue Sita after her capture, Rama, Lakshamana prepared for war along with Lord Hanuman and the braveheart army of monkeys fighting together to win the war. Ravana was finally defeated after the epic battle, and Sita rescued thereby ending the dark days brought upon by the Demon King. Dussehra celebrates this triumph of Rama over the evil of Ravana. There are also mentions of the celebrations in the Mahabharatha.

The 10-day celebration of Dussehra is celebrated in many ways around India. Here are some of the best places to celebrate Dussehra in India in all its colors:

Kolkata

Kolkata is known for taking its Dussehra celebrations to another level. One of the reasons the celebrations in Kolkata are so grand is the fact that goddess Durga idols are worshipped, decorated, elaborately celebrated. Explore the best Bengali sweets or mithai and take part in Bhog. At the end of the celebration, the idol of the deity Durga is immersed in the river.

Women dancing during Dussehra
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Kota

The celebrations in Kota last for a month-long and this epic Dussehra Mela is something everyone should experience once in their lifetime. Get the best-handcrafted products from expert craftsmen and artisans from neighboring villages giving you an insight into the culture. This is accompanied by amazing Rajasthani food and cultural performances like dances, skits, and theatre. On the final day at 75 feet tall statue of Ravana, Meghanath, and Kumbakarna and set ablaze.

Burning Ravana statue
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Barara

Barara is located near Chandigarh and has the tallest statue of Ravana made for Dussehra anywhere in India. 210 ft was the Ravana statue that was built the previous year and was the tallest yet. With the promise of a spectacle of a show and the colorful markets, event, art, and dance exclusively add on to the festive atmosphere.

Rama, Lakshmana and Ravana tableau
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Delhi

Delhi is not only the capital of India but also one of the hotspots for Dussehra celebrations. Delhi transforms entirely during the ten days of Dussehra decorating the city with stages, events, and Ram Lila musicals. Huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbakarna, and Meghanath are lighted op on the last day of this festival in Delhi. Delhi also features a lot of musical events, food stalls and community activities that will bring a sense of togetherness and joy.

People burning Ravana tableau
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Madikeri

The Madikeri Dussehra celebrations happen in the district of Coorg, Karnataka. This is a perfect time to visit Coorg as the climate is moderate and perfect to spend 10 days in Scotland of India. The festival features the celebration of the Mariamma Goddess and it is never complete by Karang dance that is the highlight of the occasion.

Rama Lakshmana and Ravana tableau parade
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Kullu

Kullu is another place in India where Dussehra is celebrated widely with many festivities. The only difference is that the Dussehra in Kullu starts when the Dussehra in other parts of India ends. The highlight of the festival occurs when over 200 deities of all the neighboring villages are on a procession near the Lord Raghunatha temple and Dhalpur Maidan. There will be artistic displays like dance and music along with rath yatra. The end of the festival is signified by the burning of the Lanka town which is leaves and dry grass. Click here to get the best discounts on hotel bookings in Kullu.

Durga Puja Image
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Mysuru

The Dussehra celebrations in Mysuru are a yearly event that has been one of the main festivals of the city. The tradition was started off by the Vijayanagara kings almost 400 years ago and was then later taken ahead by the Wodeyar family. The Jamboo Savari is when an elaborately dressed elephant carries the idol of Mysore’s goddess Chamundeshwari that is made of 750KG of gold and slewed in procession. Get discounts on Car rental, click here.

Mysore palace during night
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Varanasi

Varanasi has one of the oldest traditions of the stage performances of Ramayana. The 200-year-old tradition happens in a month-long play where various scenes and events in the Ramayana are performed by some of the finest theatre artists. The demon king Ravana is the tall statue that is set ablaze in the center of the town.

Tall Ravana statue burning
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Ahmedabad

Gujarat is known for its colorful display and all-inclusive activities during Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami. From famous and crowd-pulling activities such as Garba and Dandiya dance to the mouth-watering and lip-smacking food that is being offered during the festival. All the evenings of the festival beings with a pooja for Goddess Durga and continue with the celebration till the morning as the locals dance and sing the night away.

People doing Garba dance image
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Bastar

Experience the celebrations at its most ancient form with the tribal celebration of Dussehra at Jagdalpur. The local goddess Danteshwari and the temple is the focus of the Dussehra celebrations. Here the festival lasts for a total of seventy-five days and the last ten days lead to the Dussehra celebrations.

Street parade during Dussehra
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Plan and head out to one of these top Dussehra celebration places with friends or family and experience something new.