9 Different Ways Indians Celebrate Dussehra

It is finally that time of the year! Long queues at the sweet shops, ten mandatory cheat days for the diabetics, a canvas of colors and the air of celebration with positivity. Dussehra is truly a festival that unites this diverse country.

Be it the last act of Ram Leela, the Dandiya nights, the nine days of fasting or the famous Ravan Dahan, we have umpteen ways to celebrate this victory.

Here are 9 different ways of celebrating Dussehra in India and the places you should visit to experience one of the best Dussehra celebrations.

The Durga Puja of West Bengal

The detailed idols of Goddess Durga in the innovative Pandaals; people dancing barefoot in their traditional attire with burning coconut husk in Earthen pots; and a variety of food shops in every corner of the city; all adds up to a colorful celebration of Dussehra in West Bengal.

The engaging Ram Leela with Raavan Dahan, Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh

People dressed up as the Vanar Sena of Hanuman, Lord Rama himself or the ten headed Ravana are a common sight during Dussehra in Delhi- all trying to tell the story of Ramayana in the form of folklore and dramatic theatre. The tenth day is marked by the burning of giant effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad. The energy in the pandals is something you would like to be a part of!

The Tiger Dance ‘Hulivesa’ of Mangalore

To impress Goddess Durga in a unique way, typically the men paint themselves, or dress-up as tigers and go around the streets performing the Royal Tiger dance on beats of drums. In recent times, Mangalore have started witnessing a lot of women Hulivesa performers too. If you want to witness the marriage of two art forms; dance and painting, this is the place to be.

The duo of Garba and Dandiya Raas of Gujarat

Remember Amitabh Bachan from the movie Suhaag? Dressed up as a devotee singing Hai naam re sabse bada with dandiyas in his hands? That’s how nine days in Gujarat look like during Dussehra or Navratra. People get together to worship the Goddess Durga and play Garba before Aarti and Dandiya Raas after, to enjoy the festival to its fullest. Songs by popular singers like Falguni Pathak are played all around the place.

The Bastar Dussehra of Chattisgarh

This 500-year-old festival single handedly talks about preserving our nature and breaks the barriers created by caste and creed differences, making room for bonhomie among people. The festival starts with the worship of wood and ends with a thanksgiving and farewell ceremony for the deities. Isn’t it high time we use the unity and positivity of festivals to shed our differences and worship the nature around us?

The grandeur of Mysore Dussehra

Witnessing Mysore Dussehra should be on your to-do list. The well illuminated Mysore Palace is a sight to behold. The Palace lit by over 100,000 lights remains bright for the whole festive month. The procession of decorated elephants walking towards the Dussehra ground is another sight to behold. You do not want to miss the exhibitions and stalls of food set up in the palace grounds.

The procession in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

Here, Dussehra is celebrated in a unique way for 7 days. People worship Lord Raghunath by placing him on the chariot with several other local deities. This festival has gained an international image, showcasing the presence of folk dances, music and local handicrafts.

The lesson of Humbleness with Tamil Nadu Dussehra

The famous Mutharamman Temple gets thousands of visitors dressed up as Goddesses Kali or Durga, beggars and monkeys. The people lost in the characters beg for alms (money or food given to poor people). This act of begging teaches them humility. Like every other procession, this also has background rhythmic drum rolls and beats. The tenth day beach gathering samharam is something one should look forward to.

Vijaydashmi in Andhra Pradesh

In Andhra’s Dussehra, specifically Vijaywada, the Goddess is carried on an enchanting swan boat called Hamsa Vaahanam on the River Krishna. This boat is so beautifully decorated that one can't help but be awed by it. In other parts of Andhra, huge processions are held with lights and music.

Experience the colours and witness the best Dussehra in India by taking a trip to one of these places. Either take out your best pair of Ghagra choli and Kedia or book a ticket to Mysore for a grand celebration of good over evil. It is bound to be a celebration of life!