When good conquers the evil...

Let us start a great life by conquering our internal evils...
Call it what you will, a fondness for tradition, an excuse to be part of a communal experience or simply nostalgia. But most Indians love festivals. From decorations and dances to fireworks and food, we delight in every aspect of festivals.And as far as festivals are concerned, Dussehra brings all these aspects together in the grandest of manners.

Aditi Saraswat
                                                                                                       Kriti Billore 

Eagerly awaited across the country, Dussehra embodies the concept of unity in diversity. From fasting and feasting to fireworks, it is celebrated in different ways, in different parts of India even as the central essence of the festival – the triumph of good over evil – remains the same.

So if you are looking for a diverse Dussehra experience, Newscrust tours you to 10 places in India that celebrate this festival in an exceptional manner. From Kolkata to Kulasekarapattinam, mountain heights to sunny skies, these places definitely do Dussehra better than the rest!

Kolkata, West Bengal
Navratri in Bengal region is celebrated as a big festival, for them it's basically a 5 days celebration sashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navmi and Dashmi. The idols are established and worshipped for 5 days. The huge Pandals are decorated with a theme and dhanuch dance is also peformed on the beats of Dhaak.
Dashmi being Vijaydashmi or Dusssehra is celebrated as women offer Sindoor on the forehead of idol of Devi maa, and also put it on each other's cheeks and forehead. It looks like a sindoor holi between married women.

Bastar, Chhattisgarh      
One of the most unique celebrations of Dussehra, is done by a tribe in the Bastar, in Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh. The tribe celebrates 75 days long festival with some unusual rituals. Bastar's Dussehra celebration is not related to the story of Ramayana, it is about Devi Danteshwari, nature and spirituality.
According to local history of the tribe, this tradition of the festival started around 15th century, by the king of Bastar 'Purushottam Dev' in the erstwhile capital of Kakatiyas, Bade Dongar (near to Jagdalpur in present). This centuries old and unique tribal festival includes very different rituals.

Kullu, Himchal Pradesh
In Kullu, Dussehra festival is celebrated in a different manner. This day all the deities of surrounding and neighbouring villages are assembled, to participate in the Rath Yatra of Lord Raghunath to Dhalpur maidan.   
This tradition was started by the erstwhile ruler Raja Jagat Singh of the Kullu valley, in the 17th century. In the whole country, Kullu Dussehra is the only occasion when large number of deities is assembled at a place. Also, it is the only festival which begins on the day of Vijayadshmi while other festivals end in the country.
On the last day of procession, instead of burning the effigies of Ravana, they burn a pile of wood and grass near the Beas River which symbolizes Ravana.

Mysore, Karnataka
Mysore Dusshera is a huge celebration in the region, it is also said that the city got its name from the event where the demon Mahisasur was killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari. That is why the day is commemorated with pleasure and cheerfulness.
As the deity is considered as warrior goddess, the celebration also includes military parades, athletics competitions and other cultural programs. The other major attraction of the celebration is the Durbar of Mysore Palace, which looks spectacular when illuminated with 100,000 light bulbs.
After the goddess is worshipped by the royal family in the palace, then goddess is taken for the procession which is also known as Jamboo Savari. This procession includes musicals, dance and decorated elephants, horses etc.

Madikeri Dussehra
The Dusshera festival is celebrated in the city of Madikeri, a ten-day celebration in the Indian State of Karnataka. Madikeri Dasara is one of the most famous festival to celebrate in the state.

Kota Dussehra
Kota Dussehra is quite unique for it is more than just the beginning of a festive period. Among the various festivals held in different parts of Rajasthan, the Dussehra Festival Kota is one of the most popular festivals.

Mangalore Dusshera
The Mangalore Dusshera in the city of Mangalore attracts devotees all over India to celebrate the Dasara festival and tiger dance and beer dance are the main attractions.

Delhi Dusshera
Delhi dons a bright, festive avatar during Dussehra with hundreds of special stages set up across the city for Ram Lila musicals enacted by theatre actors. The most popular place to view the same is at Ramlila Maidan, the aptly named fairground in Old Delhi.It is believed that this particular Ram Lila musical was started by Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar nearly 170 years ago.
 If that is not interesting enough, the mela-like atmosphere that engulfs the capital during Dusshera sure is. Kanjak Puja (with their delicious puri-halwa-channa offerings), Navratri specials in restaurants and setting fire to the sky-high effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarana on the last day are other things that people look forward to.

Kulasekarapattinam Dusshera
A rather nondescript coastal town in Tamil Nadu, Kulasekharapattinam comes alive during its 10-day Dussehra festival (also called Kulasai festival). Revolving around the Mutharamman Temple (an important pilgrimage spot in the region), the annual celebration is a melting pot of music, dance, drama and an astounding repertoire of colourful costumes.
 Another unusual aspect of this festival is a trance dance in which pilgrims in fancy costumes sway to the pulsating beats of thara thappattam (with fire bearing clay pots in their hands) for hours on end and far into the night.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

The festival of Dussehra is also celebrated in Chennai, with its unique and essence and name. the festival is known as Bommai Kolu. On the arrival of the festival you can see the streets decorated with the level wise arrangement of the idol of deities also called as kolus. The brightly coloured images and tableaux usually depict the story of the battle between Goddess Durga and demon Mahisasur. Some also display other stories like the episodes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The tableaux also have additional layers which depict local folklore traditions. Over the years the tradition of Bommai Kolu has also transformed into an annual event to showcase the creativity.      

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