Places to visit this Dussehra
Celebrate this Dasara long festive weekend at any of these renowned places:
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The historic city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, by the banks of the Ganga River, is arguably the Hindu spiritual center of India. So it makes sense that the city also celebrates Dussehra in the most traditional way, combining the rites of both Durga Puja. Ramnagar, around 15 km from Varanasi, hosts one of the most famous Ramleela performances, continuing a tradition started centuries ago by the ruler of Kashi.
If world records are your thing, head to the small town of Barara in Haryana, around 80 from Chandigarh and near Ambala. The small town is famous for setting up the tallest effigy of Ravana in the world, standing at more than 200 feet. Naturally, watching fire consume the tallest effigy in the world is a sight in itself.
Kolkata, West Bengal
Kolkata will be celebrating the final of Durga Puja on Dussehra. In West Bengal and other parts of the country, Dussehra is celebrated as Vijayadashami, which celebrates another battle of good versus evil, featuring the goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura. This is the best time to visit the city of joy to experience its culture and celebrations.
Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh celebrates its own way too. Like Mysore, this version of Dussehra also involves royalty, though the customs are very different. For Kullu Dussehra, the local gods and goddesses are brought to meet Lord Raghunath, a deity of Rama. Festivities go on for seven days, with a pile of wood representing Ravana burnt along the banks of the Beas River on the final day.
We’ve talked about customs and traditions, but if you want to just get loose and dance the night away, head to the Dandiya and Garba events in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Here, it’s all about dance, dance and more dance, wearing traditional and colorful Gujarati outfits and with (or without) Dandiya sticks in your hands.
Mysore too has its own take on the festival: the ten-day Mysore Dasara. This festival essentially extends throughout Navratri, and its history dates back to the days of the Mysore kingdom more than four centuries ago. Even today, Mysore Dasara remains a royal festival, with the royal family taking part and many of the festivities hosted at the Mysore palace.