Over the last few years I have been blessed to have witnessed Dussehra in different parts of the country.Although nothing can take away the crown of Durga Puja(come on I am a Bengali!), the uniqueness of each celebration and it's history does amaze me.
Kolkata: Durga Puja in this City of Joy is not just a festival,it's a celebration of life and creation.It epitomizes the victory of good(goddess Durga) over evil (buffalo demon Mahisasura).Gorgeous giant pandals packed with devotees,the street lightings,the food,the bhog,the adda, the fasting before Pushpanjali - the Bengali in me can't stop raving about it.And yes! the traditional Dhunuchi Dance where men and women dance to the rythmic “Dhak” beats holding a Dhunuchi (an earthen pot incense burner) and swaying in high spirits????
Mysore 2014: My first Dussehra away from home.I did miss home but this city showed me a completely different kind of a grandeur.The famous Mysore palace was decorated with about 100,000 light bulbs which made it a spectacular sight to behold.The entire city gathered to watch the Dasara procession - also known as the Jumbo Savari.The highlight here is an idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga) which is placed on a mantapa made with pure gold and seated on top of a decorated elephant????
Gujarat 2016: Like most of North India, Dussehra here marks the end of Ramlila and the victory of Rama over Ravana.Ram Lila is enacted and towering effigies of Ravana symbolizing the evil are burnt with fireworks that illuminate the sky beautifully.The traditional Gujarati folk dance - Garba is performed by both men and women in colourful costumes????
Hyderabad 2018: This is where I spent my Dussehra this year.Here,a nine day floral festival called Bathukamma is celebrated till Durgaasthami.
Bathukamma is a stack of beautifuly arranged seasonal flowers, in seven concentric layers.It directly translates to "Mother Goddess, come alive". It is splendid to watch women dress up in traditional sarees and jewellery and revolve around the Bathukamma.They would sing folk songs and dance in unison and pray for prosperity????