The word Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit and means “Ravan’s defeat”. It is also known as Vijayadashami and Ayudhapuja.
According to Hindu religion this is considered to be a very auspicious day. On this day Lord Ram defeated the demon Ravan, who had abducted his wife Goddess Sita. The festival of Dussehra thus signifies the victory of good of evil.
Other important stories behind Dussehra
a. Goddess Durga’s victory over Demon Mahishasur
b. The story of Pandav brothers
The Pandavs (the five sons of King Pandu) and their wife Draupadi lost to the Kauravs in a dice game and were exiled in the forest for twelve years. The Pandav brothers hid their weapons in a hole in a Shami tree before they entered the kingdom of Virat to complete their final year of exile.
After that year, on Vijayadashmi they recovered the weapons, declared their true identities and defeated Kauravas, who had attacked King Virat to steal his cattle. Since that day, Shami trees and weapons have been worshiped and the exchange of Shami leaves on Vijayadashmi has been a symbol of good will.
Famous Dussehra celebrations
a. Bastar Dussehra is the unique cultural trait of Chhattisgarh. Celebrated by the local people of the state with sufficient vigor, the festival of Dussehra connotes to the supreme power of goddess Danteswari. During Dussera, the inhabitants of Bastar organizes special worship ceremonies at the Danteswari temple of Jagadalpur.
b. Mysore Dussehra is the state festival of Karnataka, a 10-day festival with the last day being Vijayadashami. The city of Mysore Dussehra has a long tradition of celebrating the festival, attracting a large audience.
c. Kullu Dussehra is one of the most famous Dussehra festival celebrated in the Dhalpur maidan in the Kullu valley. Himachal Pradesh has given Kullu Dussehra festival a status of International festival which attracts tourists in large numbers.