Celebration of Dussehra

Being one of the most significant Hindu festivals, Dussehra is celebrated with much fervor and gaiety. It is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Though it is celebrated differently in various parts of the country the burning of effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Meghnatha is common.

Religious processions are carried out where beautifully decorated tableaux depicting various incidents of Lord Rama are seen on the streets. Ram Lila (drama depicting the episodes from the lives of Ram, Sita and Lakshman) starts a few days before and on the final day of Dussehra, actors dressed as Rama and Lakshman shoot an arrow towards the effigies and they are burnt. With little regional differences Dussehra is celebrated almost similarly everywhere.

Dussehra in India

Some of the best places to enjoy the grand celebrations of Dussehra are Mysore, Orissa, Western Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Mysore being one of the best.

Mysore Dussehra

Dussehra in Mysore is considered one of the most auspicious days. Mysore is derived from the devil name 'Mahishasur' and as the legend goes, Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga or Kali) killed the demon Mahishasur.

Rituals, Events and Attractions of Dussehra

Dussehra in the city of Mysore is an elaborate affair with a large number of festivities and processions.

To begin with, the great Mysore palace is lit up with diyas and candles on all the 10 days of Dussehra. The beautiful palace is worth watching on the nights of the Dussehra days. The festivities are commenced by a puja performed by the royal couple at the Chamundi temple which is located at the hill top (Chamundi Hill).

Later there would be a royal assembly held, which is attended by only special invitees, official and the royal families. On the ninth day, processions take place involving horses, camels and elephants from the royal palace which is to worship the royal sword. The grandeur of the royal procession is just so mesmerizing.

On the tenth day processions involving decorated tableaux are seen on the roads and streets and dance and music form a major part of this procession. The idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, placed on the top of a golden mantapa of a decorated elephant is the major attraction of this procession. This idol is first worshipped by the royal family first and then starting from the royal Mysore palace this idol reaches up to a place called Bannimatapa where the Banni tree is worshipped. Later public feats and fests conclude these celebrations. Dussehra can be celebrated the best at Mysore. The city of Mysore gives the real significance and the real grandeur of this festival.

Another major attraction of Dussehra in Mysore is the famous exhibition held at the Mysore palace which not only offers a great view of the palace but also all types of stalls and shops at this exhibition.

Dussehra in other parts of India

West Bengal

In the state of West Bengal, Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja and the deities of goddess Durga are worshipped and on the last day of puja these are immersed in rivers.


The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great fervor in New Delhi. Ramlilas are organized around the city where the artists enact the whole story of Ramayana in ten days. Huge effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath are burnt with lots of fireworks on the tenth day (Vijayadashmi).

Himachal Pradesh

Dussehra is celebrated in Dhalpur Maidan of the Kullu valley. Week long fair, spectacular processions and folk music mark the celebration of the festival.

Maharashtra and Karnataka

On the ninth day of Dussehra (Dasha-Hara), people worship all the tools they use in daily life. These include kitchen tools, agricultural tools, machinery, computers and even vehicles. It is considered to be an auspicious day to start a new business or to buy a new house or household products. A special ceremony called as Seemollanghan, where people cross the borders of their community ritually is also performed in Maharashtra.


Dussehra is celebrated in two ways in Orissa. In the temples and specially designed pandals, Maa Durga is worshipped for ten to sixteen days. This is known as Shodasa Upachara. On the last day of this puja, people give farewell to Goddess Durga by offering a special prayer known as Aparajita Puja. Rice soaked in water and curd, sweets and fried fish are offered to the Goddess. A formal procession take place and the idols of the deity are immersed in nearby rivers or lakes. Lastly, the effigies of Ravan are burnt in the evening.

Last Updated on : October 7, 2016