Dussehra : A One Week International Fair

 

Kullu Dussehra - Chief Guests Enjoying From The StageKullu Dussehra is a week long international level fair held every year during October. The International Kullu Dussehra fair is scheduled to be held from 13/14 October, 2013 at Kullu. The major attraction of the fair was the assembly of hundreds of local deities with the main deity Raghunath ji. Other activities like cultural programmes, exhibitions are also organized.

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After the whole country winds up the celebration of Dussehra by burning the effigies of Ravana, then the Dussehra at Kullu begins. The festival commences on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e. on ‘Vijay Dashmi’ day itself and continues in seven days. The birth of Dussehra in Kullu lay in royal fads and it nourished on religious, social and economic factors and ultimately came to be well established, because of the inborn love of the hill-men for fun, frolic, displayed in community singing and dancing. Numerous stalls offer a varity of local wares. This is also the time when the International Folk Festival is celebrated.

Kullu Dusshehra is a beautiful amalgam of history, culture and customs. Unlike other regions of India, here effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarana are not burnt.

The Story

The Royal Family of Kullu - Maheshwar Singh and family

It all started back in 1637 A. D. when Raja Jagat Singh was the ruler of the Valley. One day he came to know that a peasant Durga Dutt of village Tipri owned beautiful pearls, which the Raja wanted to obtain. Durga Dutt tried to convince the Raja by all means that the information was wrong and that he owned no pearls, but all his pleas were in vain. The Raja gave him a last chance. Durga Dutt got so scared that he burnt down his own family and house and cursed the Raja for his cruelty. His curse resulted in Raja’s leprosy and as he realized the fact he felt guilty.

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Kishan Das known as Fuhari Baba advised him to install the famous idol of Lord Raghunathji to get rid of the curse of the peasant. He sent Damodar Dass to steal the idol from Tret Nath Temple of Ayodhya who finally brought it from there in July 1651 A. D. After installing the idol, he drank Charnamrit of the idol for several days and was in due course cured. He devoted his kingdom and life for the lord and from then onwards Dusshera started being celebrated with great splendour. Thus on the first fortnight of Ashwin month (mid September to mid October), the Raja invites all the 365 Gods and Goddesses of the Valley to Dhalpur to perform a Yagna in Raghunathji’s honor.

The Rituals and Celebration

Kullu Dussehra - Idol Of Raghunath Ji

On the first day of Dusshera Goddess Hadimba ( Goddess of the royal family of Kullu ) of Manali comes down to Kullu. At the entrance of Kullu, the Royal Stick welcomes her and escorts her to the Palace. After blessing the royal family, she comes to Dhalpur.

Kullu Dussehra - Crowd

The idol of Raghunathji is saddled around Hadimba and placed in a Rath (chariot) adorned beautifully. Then they wait for the signal from Mata Bhekhli, which is given from top of the hill. The Rath is pulled with the help of ropes from its original place to another spot where it stays for the next six days. More than one hundred gods and goddesses mounted on colourful palanquins participate in this procession. It gives impression as if the doors of heaven have been opened and the gods have come down to the earth to rejoice.

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On the sixth day of the festival, the assembly of Gods takes place, which is called ‘Mohalla’. It is an impressive and a rare sight to see the multihued palanquins of Gods around the camp of Raghunathji. On the last day, the Rath is again pulled to the banks of river Beas where a pile of thorn bushes is set on fire to depict the burning of Lanka and the Rath is brought back to its original place. Raghunathji is taken back to the temple in Raghunathpur. Thus, world famous Dusshera comes to an end in a dignified way, full of festivities and grandeur.

The Dhalpur grounds are full of vendors during Dusshera, who come from different parts of the country to sell their goods. Various government organizations and private agencies also set up various exhibitions concerning their line of work. At night, thousands of people witness the International Cultural Festival in Kala Kendra (an open-air theatre).

Arrangements Of Kullu Dussehra In 2013

Kullu Dussehra Rath Yatra

The centuries-old & week long famous international Dussehra festivity of Kullu will be organized between October 14 to 20, this was decide in a meeting of Dussehra organizing committee in Kullu on Monday.

Additional district magistrate Vinay Singh Thakur, who was chairing the meeting, said cultural troops are being invited from several other countries besides Indian states to make the festivity more attractive. He said identity cards would be mandatory for all traders and hawkers who’ll do business at the venue and Rs 100 will be charged for each I-card. “All possible arrangements will be made to provide facilities to deities and their followers coming from various parts of the state,” Thakur said.

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Kullu Dussehra begins when Dussehra ends in other parts of the country. Hundreds of deities in their palanquins throng Kullu to pay obeisance to Lord Raghunath (Rama), the presiding deity of the festivity.

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Vaishali Rani

I'm a B.Sc. student and a part time blogger at NewYearDiwaliSMS.com I enjoy being a student and love my work a lot.

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