Top 10 Dussehra Capitals of India
Durga Puja, Kolkata: Mother of all celebrations, Durga Pujo in Kolkata is a an event that makes the whole city undergo a huge makeover and see frenzied activity 24x7. Teeming people, huge pandals- domes, minarets, mountain cliffs; brilliant lighting depicting current affairs; wafts of crispy Chicken/Mutton rolls tempting the olfactory and visual senses make the 3 days of Durga Pujo in Kolkata an event to remember for life.
Ramleela, Ram Nagar, Varanasi
At Ram Nagar 15 km from Varanasi seat of the erstwhile rulers of Benares the Ramlila is quite unique. The Ramlila performance is conducted in multi-stage theatres spread over 31 days and Sadhus called `Ramayanis` recite the Ramayana. The "Ramnagar Ramleela", attracts lakhs of people every year.
Durga Puja, Mumbai
From a humble puja initiated by Bengalee goldsmiths, Durga puja is a big budget affair in Mumbai. Today there are more than 100 Sarbojonin Durga Puja held across Mumbai and its sparawling suburbs. Andheri, Santa Cruz Vashi, RK Mission at Khar are some of the places of prominent Durga Pujas.
Ahmedabad is arguably one of the best places to enjoy Navratri, the atmosphere is electric and full of revelry. At least seven to eight major Rasa-Garbas, Dandia ras are organized in the city. At the Dandiya show organised by Ahmedabad YMCA 4 to 5000 people attend each night during the nine day long festivity.
Dussehra Mela, Kota
During Dussehra, a big mela is held to mark the occasion. Contrary to other festivals in Rajasthan the Dussehra mela held for 3 days at Kota is not overrun by tourists and foreigners. In the last day the effigies of the Ravana clan are burnt. Food stalls, Rajasthani handicrafts, joy rides are the prized attractions.
Dusshera, Jagdalpur, Bastar
The Dussehra festival at Jagdalpur a primarily tribal belt is unique in its perspective and significance. The Dussehra begins with worship of Kachhingudi, a local goddess. A pre puberty girl of the weaver cast is ceremonially married to the priest of the shrine. She goes in a trance and grants the wishes for a safe conduct of the celebration. On the 10th day a Rath procession according to local custom is undertaken.
For 10 days the peaceful image of Mysore takes a backseat. Mysore erupts into life and every street gets bustling with streams. The most striking part of the Dasara celebrations is the Vijayadashami procession held on the last day. Goddess Chamundeshwari kept in the golden howdah of an elephant is moved for 2.5 miles beginning from the Palace grounds.
Ramlila, Durga Puja Delhi
Delhi has a heady mix of Ramlila and Durga Puja. With atleast 1000 Ramlila and 250 Puja pandals events held in the city attracting droves of people. Durga Puja commenced in the capital before independence with The pujas at Kashmiri Gate, New Delhi Kalibari, Chittranjan park being the prominent ones.
It would not be any exaggeration to say that Katra is the Navaratra Capital of India. It is a tradition for the last 100 years. Katra wears a festive look during the full nine days of Navaratra. Shops and houses are decorated with lights and flowers, arches get erected at different places and the place reverberates with "Jai Mata Di" chant.
Kullu Dussehra a week-long festival is an international event with large number of people pouring in to witness it. The festivities revolve around the local presiding deity Lord Raghunath. It begins with arrival of goddess Hadimba from Manali along with other deities in colourful palanquins. Around 250 gods and goddesses take part accompanied by processions.