By OneCard | September 25, 2023
Traditionally, most of us spend the festive time with our families, back in our hometowns. So many of us may not really get the chance to go out and explore the festivals in other parts of the country. For example, if you are a native of Delhi, you may have never witnessed the grandeur of Dussehra in Karnataka. This year, you can do things a bit differently! You can visit the places we’ve listed in this blog to experience the festivities of Navratri and Dussehra like you may have never done before.
While Durga Pooja has pretty much become a pan-India festival, nothing can beat the charm of Kolkata celebrations. If you are not a native of Kolkata, this year treat yourself to the tastiest Bengali delicacies or enjoy the plethora of cultural events at the top pandals in Kolkata. Some popular pandals you should definitely visit include Santosh Mitra Square, Bagbazar College Square, Hindustan Park, Hindustan Club, and Samaj Sebi Sangha.
One of the best places to see unique Dussehra celebrations is Mysuru in Karnataka. The Mysore Dasara is also known as Nadahabba, and the main attraction of the entire celebration is the way the Mysore Palace is decorated. The beautiful palace, which is lit up with nearly 100,000 light bulbs during the entire duration of the festival, is simply a sight you wouldn’t want to miss. On Vijayadashmi, there is also a traditional Dasara procession, the main attraction of which is the Chamundeshwari goddess idol seated in a beautiful golden mandapa atop a decorated elephant. To add to the beauty of it all, there are also many dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses, and camels that are a part of the procession. The festival finally culminates on the night of Vijayadashami at Bannimantap grounds, which are adorned with a torch-light parade.
Kullu Dussehra is celebrated in the Dhalpur Maidan in the Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh. This festival is also known as “Kulanthapitha”. It is a great occasion for travellers to experience the mystic part of the region. Unlike the rest of India, Kullu Dussehra begins on Vijayadashami and continues for seven days thereafter. During this festival, around 200 local deities, including the goddess Hadimba from Manali, are ceremoniously taken to the Temple of Raghunathji. The festivities come to an end with the burning of a heap of wood and grass on the bank of the Beas River on the last day.
One of the most important festivals that is celebrated in Gujarat every year is the nine-day festival of Navratri. During this time, you can see the entire state of Gujarat lit up with bright lights and decorations. Each day of the festival season starts with the performance of an aarti, followed by the enchanting Garba dance. You can visit Bhadra Fort, Rajpath Club, NID/CEPT, and many other popular venues to see the best garba events in Ahmedabad. Other prominent cities where you can see big celebrations are Gandhinagar, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Rajkot.
Unlike Dussehra in other parts of India, in Bastar, it is celebrated as a congregation of Devi Mavli and all her sisters. Lasting for over 75 days, the Dussehra festival here begins on the new moon day in the month of Shravan and ends on the 13th day of the bright moon in the month of Ashvin. It involves the active participation of all the major tribes of Bastar. Grand processions are carried out where all the idols of gods and goddesses from the nearby villages are brought to the temple of Danteshwari, where they are worshipped. The main attraction of the procession is a double-decker rath, which is made with handmade tools by the people.
In Delhi, Dussehra is celebrated in a very grand manner. The main attraction is the burning of huge effigies of Ravana. Flowers and lamps are used to decorate Lord Rama’s temples, and religious music fills the air throughout the city. You can also visit the numerous Ramlilas and puja pandals around the city. Popular Ramlilas in Delhi are held at Ramlila Maidan and the Red Fort lawns.
This Dussehra and Navratri, experience the colours of India by visiting any of the above places. If you haven’t planned any trips in October, it’s not too late. Whether you are making advance bookings or doing an impromptu visit, don’t forget to check out the offers on flights, hotels, buses, and more available on your OneCard app and make your travel more affordable.
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