Kullu royalty celebrates Dussehra festival | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Kullu royalty celebrates Dussehra festival

chandigarh Updated: Oct 06, 2014 20:14 IST

The streets here were thronged by the devotees on Sunday to celebrate the centuries- old weeklong Hindu festival, Kullu Dussehra, with the royal family of the place.

"Our first day of Dussehra celebration begins when festivities are over in other places because if you go through Ramayana you will find that Ravana was a great scholar and he died on Purnima (full moon day) and Vijay Dashmi is never on a full moon day. The full moon day comes after five to seven days," said the king of the royal family, Maheshwar Singh.

Hundreds of devotees led by the head of the former royal family participated in the week- long festival as idols of the various Gods and Goddesses of the valley were brought out from respective temples in full public view.

This festival is believed to have started in 1607 at the time of Raja Jagat Singh and the royal family carries forward this centuries- old tradition.

The festival, which symbolises the triumph of good over evil, is marked by prayers, processions and musical programmes.

"Cultural and dance programmes happen every day and night with international and Bollywood singers being part of the show," said a resident, Sumeet.

The week-long Kullu Dussehra festival ends with the sacrifice of a buffalo, a rooster, a lamb, a fish and a crab. A huge pile of grass is also set on fire symbolising the burning of Lanka, Ravana's kingdom.

Dussehra is regarded as the day when Hindu Lord Ram rescued his abducted wife, Sita by defeating Ravana, demon-king of Lanka.

As per the custom, the effigy of the demon king Ravana is vilified and burnt in most parts of the country.

According to legend, Lord Rama's consort Sita was abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka (now Sri Lanka).

Consequently, Lord Rama battled and defeated Ravana, and secured the release of his wife from the demon king's captivity.

Apart from Ravana, the gigantic effigies of his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnath are also burnt every year on the occasion of Dussehra.