Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kullu Dussehra : Celebrating the Victory over the Evil

The Week long Dussehra Festival has started in Kullu on 28th September 2009.

Dussehra ( Vijay Dashmi)is one of the important Indian festival it is celebrated on the eve of Lord Rama’s victory over demon Ravana. It is believed that the war against Ravana lasted for ten days and on the Tenth day Ravana was killed by Lord Rama. Thus it is also known as Vijay Dashmi (Vijay meaning Victory and Dashmi means Tenth)

Though this festival is celebrated all over India but Dussehra at Kullu is unique. Unlike rest of the India no Ravana effigies are burned here. It is celebrated without Ramlilla.

The history of Kullu ‘Dussehra’ dates back to the 17th century when the King Jaganand bought an idol of Raghunath (Lord Ram) and it was installed on his throne as a mark of penance, after which lord Raghunath is known as the ruling deity of the Kullu valley. There is a ancient temple of lord Raghunath at Sultanpur, near the palace of the King Jaganand.

The Seven day long festival, begins with the Rath( Chariot) yatra of Lord Raghunath from main temple. The idols of Lord Raghunath stays for Seven days at the temporary camp on Dhalpur Ground and on the seventh day Lanka Dahan is performed, it ends the festival and Lord Raghunath returns to the Temple at Sultanpur.

The arrival of Goddess Hadimba’s palanquin at Kullu is a prerequisite for the Dussehra festivities to begin. About a kilometre from Manali stands Dhungri Temple, built around about 500 years ago. It is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba Devi, wife of Bhim, one of the five Pandav brothers.

The palanquin reaches short of the Raghunath Temple to await a special messenger, who carries a “silver chhari” and escorts Hadimba Devi to the temple. The special messenger is also the presiding deity of the Kullu Dussehra. Next is the permission from Bhekhli Mata after which Lord Raghunath is brought out of the temple to commence the journey for rath yatra. The Rath (Chariot) is placed at Dhalpur Ground.

About 365 deities of various parts of Kullu valley gathers in Dhalpur Ground to participate in the Yatra.

With other gods and goddesses, and a large number of devotees and priests, the procession heads towards Dhalpur ground from the Raghunath Temple. After reaching there thousands of devotees and priests. After being enshrined in ancient wooden chariot, Lord Raghunath is taken to the middle of the ground. The chariot is pulled by hundreds of devotees. After the prayers, the festivities begin with folk music accompanied by hill orchestra.

A large number of visitors from home and abroad throng Kullu to witness this unique congregation of deities during the festival.

A lots of interesting info to come, so keep visiting.

1 comment:

  1. It's a nice capture of the festival you did here, Kuluth. Keep it up, not only collecting images but sharing the world about its historical facts. Right now you wont realize it but after many years, you'd be thankful and fascinated that you did it. More powers. :)