Dussehra is one of the most revered festivals of India. It is celebrated with same devotion and faith in some neighboring countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is famous by some other names as well like Dasara, Dashahara, Navaratri and Durgotsav. This famous Hindu festival celebrates the victory of good or evil generally falls in the months of Ashwin and Kartik. Hindus observe a 10 day ceremony of fast, rituals and celebrations to honor the triumph of goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasur and victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. The celebrations start from Navratri and ends with the 10th day festival of Dussehra. Both these festivals are celebrated at the same time almost in the entire country with great enthusiasm, faith and devotion. The festival also marks an end to the scorching summers and starts the winter season.
In many parts of India the festival is celebrated in varied manners.
In northern India the festival wears the colorful grab of Ram Lila which depicts the various incidents of Lord Rama's life. On the last day the effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and his son Meghnad are burnt at sunset. The Dasara of Mysore is quite famous where a grand procession of caparisoned elephants takes place on the streets accompanied by the local bands and colorful people. In West Bengal the festival is known as Durga Puja. The whole state comes alive during this festival and immersed in faith and devotion. Huge pandals are erected to worship the idols of Goddess Durga for nine days and on the last day these idols are carried out in the form of procession for immersion in the near by river or sea. In Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh this festival is celebrated little late as compare to the other parts of India. A grand mass ceremony is held where in the village deities are taken out in elaborate processions. The whole valley shows its faith towards God and thus is also known as Valley of the Gods.
In Gujarat the festival is celebrated as Navaratri which is famous for its dance form Rass -Gharba and Dandiya which is performed whole nine nights. Men, women, boys or girls dance in huge circles while singing the devotional songs. Various competitions are also organized during this festival. In southern state of Tamil Nadu the first three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, the next three days to Goddess Saraswati the goddess of learning, and the last three days to Goddess Durga the Goddess of Shakti. So much variety with the single though of victory of good or evil makes it one of the most auspicious festivals of India.