14 Photos that Show How Dussehra is Celebrated Across India

  • 01 of 14

    What is Dussehra?

    Ravan
    Jagdish Agarwal/Getty Images

    The tenth day of the Navaratri festival is known as Dussehra. It's widely devoted to honoring the defeat of the demon king Ravana by Lord Rama. Every year on Dussehra, colorful effigies of demon king Ravan are burned to mark the defeat of Ravan by Lord Rama. These Dussehra pictures show the fascinating different ways that Dussehra is celebrated all over India.

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  • 02 of 14

    Making of Ravan

    Making Ravan in Delhi.
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    In Delhi, most Ravan effigies are made in an area called Titarpur, located in Tagore Garden in west Delhi. A famous makeshift market gets set up on the footpath there, along Najafgarh Road. It's worth a trip to see it during Navaratri (the lead up to Dussehra). However, the work on the effigies starts much earlier, in August. For three months, artisans work night and day to create the giant demons. It takes 10 to 12 days to complete three effigies.

     

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  • 03 of 14

    Ramaleela Performers

    Ramlila performance.
    Jagdish Agarwal/Getty Images

    In the lead-up to Dussehra, Ramlila performances that reenact scenes from the much loved Hindu epic the Ramayana, which tells the life story of Lord Rama, are held. They culminate with much fanfare on the last night, with the defeat and destruction of Ravan. Here are 5 Popular Ramlila Shows in Delhi.

     

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  • 04 of 14

    Almora Dussehra Street Parade

    Dussehra street parade.
    Michael Benanav/Getty Images

    In Almora, in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, a highlight of Dussehra is a popular street parade through the town.

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  • 05 of 14

    A Multitude of Villains

    Dussehra street parade.
    Michael Benanav/Getty Images

    The Dussehra parade in Almora doesn't only feature effigies of demon Ravan. It has numerous other villains from the epic The Ramayana.

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  • 06 of 14

    A Regional Parade with Great Fanfare

    Dussehra street parade.
    Michael Benanav/Getty Images

    The effigies are made by various local groups in the region, and are accompanied on the parade by traditional dance troupes and much fanfare.

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  • 07 of 14

    Burning of Demon Effigies

    settings Burning Demons for Dussehra Festival
    Michael Benanav/Getty Images

    After being paraded through the streets of Almora, the effigies of the demons are set alight by the crowd.

     

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  • 08 of 14

    Kullu Dussehra Parade

    Kullu Dussehra.
    Richard I'Anson/Getty Images

    In the Kullu Valley region of Himachal Pradesh, there is no burning of Ravan effigies. Instead, Goddess Hadimba is carried from her temple in Manali down to Kullu, where she's taken to the palace and blessed by the royal family. She then goes to Dhalpur and is joined by the idol of Lord Raghunath (Lord Rama, the presiding deity). Hundreds of goddess deities from all over the region are brought out and carried in procession to see her.

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  • 09 of 14

    Kullu Dussehra Trumpets

    Kullu Dussehra trumpets.
    Religious Images/UIG/Getty Images

    Musicians play trumpets as part of the Kullu Dussehra festival, to celebrate the triumph of Lord Rama over demon king Ravan.

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  • 10 of 14

    Kullu Dussehra Gods

    Kullu Dussehra gods.
    Richard I'Anson\Getty Images

    It's believed that the chariots are powered by the gods. All the deities remain at the Dhalpur Maidan fairgrounds until the end of the festival.

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  • 11 of 14

    Tribal Dussehra in Chhattisgarh

    Tribal Dussehra.
    Frederic Soltan/Getty Images

    In the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, Dussehra celebrations last for more than two months and are devoted to the local goddess known as Ma Danteshwari. During the ceremonies, the tribes gather around the Maharaja of Jagdalpur, Kamal Chandra Bhanj Deo. 

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  • 12 of 14

    Dussehra Parade in Chhattisgarh

    Tribal Dussehra parade.
    Frederic Soltan/Getty Images

    On the last day of Dussehra celebrations in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, there's a fascinating parade featuring the Maharaja and all the tribes.

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  • 13 of 14

    Tribal Dancers During Dussehra in Chhattisgarh

    Dussehra Festival in Jagdalpur
    Frederic Soltan/Getty Images.

    Here, Maria tribal dancers participate in the parade on the last day of Dussehra celebrations in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district.

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  • 14 of 14

    Mysore Palace During Dussehra

    Mysore palace.
    Jose Fuste Raga/Getty Images

    Mysore Palace is dazzlingly illuminated by almost 100,000 light bulbs during the city's 10 day Dussehra celebration. The festival ends with a traditional procession through the streets, featuring an idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari and decorated elephants. Read more about Mysore Dasara.