Dussehra is a celebration of the proverbial victory of good over evil. Dussehra also marks the start of a long festive season in India. Given its significance to local culture and, frankly, economies, the way it is celebrated changes drastically with each pin-code. Given how well this bodes for a traveler to witness different traditions firsthand, we have listed down some of the richest and most unique ways it is celebrated across India.
In Kullu the week long fair with folk music and processions starts on the day of Dusshera when all the nearby deities are brought down to Kullu, to pay homage to the main deity, Lord Raghunathji.
For those looking to experience antiquity, Pauri’s Ramlila tradition has a history of over a hundred years and this year will celebrate the 116th year of its annual rendition.
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In Nashik witness the idols of Goddess Durga being immersed in the river with great fervor as a symbol of Shakti returning to her abode after having defeated evil.
Igatpuri, being in the vicinity of Gujarat, adopts many of the vibrant festivities of the region. You can participate in the numerous Garbas and Dandhiya Ras functions organized here.
For a quieter celebration, head to Sikkim and participate in the more subdued Durga Puja and Bijaya Dashami celebrations there. Participate in the traditional sowing of seeds and listening to the story of the evil Mahisasura’s defeat by Goddess Durga.
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Kota has a long and close relationship with Dussehra, going back to the time of the old Maharao Ummed Singh II in the late 19th Century. Since then, the festivities have gone on to become the longest-running Dussehra celebrations in India, running for a whopping 27 days and including various cultural activities and competitions.