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Dussehra Festival, Kota
Home >> Rajasthan Fairs and Festivals >> Dussehra Festival, Kota

INTRODUCTION
Dussehra is celebrated all over the country but the Kota Dussehra is quite unique for it marks more than just the beginning of a festive period. More than 75 feet tall effigies of the demons Ravana, Kumbhakarana and Meghnath are burnt on Dusshera day to symbolise the victory of good over evil. This festival is celebrated all over the country but the Kota Dussehra is quite unique for it marks more than just the beginning of a festive period. Villagers gather here dressed in multicoloured clothes to offer prayers to Lord Rama and to celebrate his victory over Ravana.

THE LEGEND BEHIND THE CELEBRATIONS
Dussehra means the Tenth Day, being the 10th day of the bright half of Ashvin. This day is also known as Vijayadashmi, or the Victory Tenth, because of the victory of Ram over Ravana. According to the legend, On this day in Satyug, Ram (the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), killed the great demon and king of Lanka, Ravan, who had abducted Ram's wife Sita. Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman, follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle for ten days to rescue his wife Sita. Dussehra festival is held to celebrate the triumph of Lord Rama over the Demon King Ravana. This most fiery fight between demon and god continued for 10 days in which evil had to face defeat at last. As Dussehra is preceded by the Navratri or the nine days of the worship of Goddess Durga, some rituals related to the Goddess are also carried out that day. The rituals of Durga Puja involve the usual puja of goddess Durga along with Lord Ram.

DESCRIPTION
During the Dussehra Festival in Kota a very vibrant and colorful mela or fair is organized. The very catchy feature of the Dussehra Festival, Kota is the theatrical representation of this encounter. In this dramatic enactment, both children and elders take part with great fervor and enthusiasm. In the whole drama the portion that attracts children to the fullest extent is the role of the Vanar Senas or the monkey forces led by the monkey God Hanuman. The drama is personified to such an extent that audience starts singing slogans in praise of Lord Rama. However the climax of the drama comes with setting fire on the gigantic effigies of the defeated 10 headed Ravana along with his brother Kumbhkarana and his son Meghnath. The effigies are basically built of paper and bamboo. These are packed with crackers which actually help in setting fire.

Also part of the celebration is the Ram Lila or the dramatic depiction of episodes from the lives of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman. All the regions across the country have evolved their own distinctive style, and performances at different places are done in the local language.

Villagers gather here dressed in multicolored clothes to offer prayers to Lord Rama and to celebrate his victory over Ravana. Prominent artists from all over the country are invited to participate in cultural programmes that enthrall the huge audience with their performances. Rich in courtly splendor and age old traditions, the Dussehra festival here is marked by a glittering procession which attracts thousands from the surrounding villages. Dramas, depicting the Armageddon, are very common. Like all festivals in Rajasthan, it provides a good opportunity to the traders to display their attractive wares to the rural and urban buyers. Small effigies of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakhsman are very common works of sculpture. The Kota Dussehra fair lasts for about a fortnight.

TIME TO CELEBRATE   
The Dussehra Festival is celebrated in the month of October in the city of Kota.

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