In India, festival season is at our door steps, and so to experience the essence of such a Good time feel, lets start with something which is not celebrated only as a festival but also teaches a lesson to us. That is, Dussehra, the Celebration of victory of virtuous over evil. On this day lord Rama slaughtered Ravana and rescued goddess Sita from his imprisonment. It is celebrated every year at the end of Navratri. Dussehra is also known with another name as Vijaydashmi. In India, each festival is celebrated with its own significance with different ways at different places. But Kota city of Rajasthan is famous for its 25-days Dussehra Celebration every year.
Maharao Durajanshal Singh Hada started the tradition of Dussehra Fair in 1723 AD. During that time, Dussehra festival used to last till 3-days and the height of the effigies of Ravana with Kumbhakarn and Meghnath were between 20-25 feet. Later Maharao Ummed Singh II (1889-1940 A.D.) discontinued the Hada’s tradition of Dussehra celebration, since then, the tradition of celebration has changed manifolds. He made this religious event more colourful and attractive 25-days Dussehra Mela what it is today.
Whats so special
On this occasion, a 25-days fair is organized in Kota called as ‘Dussehra Fair’ or ‘Dussehra Mela’, which begins from the first day of Navratri and continues till a day before Dhanteras festival to blotch the beginning of Deepawali festival, and this certainly sets it apart from all of the celebrations.
The effigies are of demon Ravana, Kumbhakaran, and Meghnath, which have a height of more than 75 feet. These effigies are made of bamboo and wrapped with colourful papers and these effigies are then stuffed with fireworks, which when shot, they set alight.
For this pupose, a young child is dressed as Lord Ram, and that child is given an arrow with a fire at its tip and made him to shoot at demon Ravana, and then these huge effigies are burnt, which depicts the death of demon Ravana by the hands of lord Rama.
There is an extraordinary cavalcade that spellbound and enthralls the sightseers and onlookers who are among the city dwellers and also people who come here from the surrounding villages, and across the country to befall this mesmerizing event. This event provides a tender opportunity to the traders to showcase and exhibit their products and wares.
Also a coruscating Cultural programme is organized where many prominent artists come across the country to give their dazzling and invigorating performances.
The events include, Sindhi cultural programme, Bhajan Sandhya, all-India mushaira, Punjabi programme, qawwali night, Cine Sandhya, Rajasthani folk music and dance programme, Bhojpuri Night, nataka, Kavi Sammelan and many such entertaining sessions.
To visit the rich in courtly splendour and age old traditions, the gathering of the onlookers at the event is more than 1 lakh. People, even from outside the country visit here to enjoy and relish this wonderful event.
This event has marked its significance in the cultural calendar of this city.