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Dasara (Devnagari: नवरात्रि, Telugu: విజయదశమి, Bengali: দুর্গা পূজা, Gujarati: નવરાત્રી, Oriya: ନର୍ଵାର୍ତୀ, Kannada: ನವರಾತ್ರಿ, Assamese: নৱৰাত্রি, Marathi: नवरात्री, Punjabi: ਨਰਾਤੇ, Kashmiri: نَورات/ नवरात, Tamil: நவராத்திரி, Malayalam: നവരാത്രി)

Durga Devi

Dasara: is also known as Vijaya Dashami, Dashahara, Dussehra, Navaratri, Durgotdsav. It is one of the biggest festival that is celebrated by all Hindu communities across India. It is a 9 or 10 day festival, where Goddess Durga the Shakti is worshipped.

Quick Facts
  • Dasara is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin ( Ashwayuja masa) according to the Hindu calendar which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri the ‘nine nights’ or Sharada Navratri and culminates on the tenth day as Dasara.
  • Word DASARA is derived from Sanskrit words “Dasha” & “hara” meaning removing the evil.
  • In Bengal, Dasara is celebrated as Durga Puja. Idols of the goddess Durga are worshipped for nine days, and on the tenth day immersed in a river or pond.  In Bengal, Assam & Orissa, Durga is also worshipped as Kali Mata as a symbol of Shakti (Power).
  • Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Hindawi (Hindu) Swarajya used to always worship Lord Shiva & Goddess Durga in the form of goddess Bhawani before any military expedition.  Goddess Bhavani had blessed Shivaji Maharaj with her own sword called “Bhavani Talwar”.
  • The importance of immersing statues  with other pooja items in water during this season is, they are powerful disinfectants which help in purifying water that either used in household or for agriculture.
  • Victory of Lord Rama over  Demon King Ravana is one of the legend that this festival is celebrated as always good wins on bad.
  • Another legend goes by Victory of Goddess Durga over Demon Mahishasura. This is the reason behind celebration of dasara in many states of India.
  • It is also said it is the end of Agyatawas of Pandava’s from Mahabharat.
  • Many people also perform Aditya Homa and also recite Sundara kanda , Ramacharitha Maanas on these days and also observe fasting.
  • Burning of the effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkaran and son Meghnath are carried out. It exhorts people to kill the bad in them and follow the goodness.
  • In Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar, It is a tradition to plant barley seeds in earthen pots on the first day of Navratri. On the day of Dasara, the nine-day old sprouts called as noratras or nortas are used as symbols of luck. Men place them in their caps or behind their ears.
  • In South India, There is an exhibition of toys that is known as “Bombe habba” in Karnataka, “Bommala Koluvu” in Andhra Pradesh,”Bomma Gollu”in Kerala and Golu in Tamil Nadu.
  • In all parts of South India, on 9 day they do Ayudha puja where they sanctify Vehicles and on this day people buy new things.
  • In kerala and Tamil Nadu, On this day is also celeberated as Saraswathi Puja, all the kids put their books near Goddess Durga to seek her blessings.
  • In Telangana, On this day all younger family members usually pay respects to their elders by giving them leaves of Shami tree/ Jambi tree, and seeking their blessings.
  • During these 9 days of navratri they also celebrate Bathukamma, it is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers in seven concentric layers in the shape of potter’s clay like a cone.
  • In Mysore, On Vijaydashami day, at the culmination of a colourful 10-day celebration, the goddess Chamundeshwari is worshiped and then borne in a grand procession on a Golden Ambari or elephant-mounted throne through the city of Mysore, from the historical Mysore Palace to the Banni Mantapa.
  • In Madikeri, Dasha-Hara is celebrated in a different style. It has a history of over 100 years. Dasha-Hara begins with Kargas from four Mariamma Temples. There is a procession of 10 Mantapas from 10 Temples on the night of Vijayadashami.
  •  Especially in Maharashtra people worship the Apta tree and exchange its leaves (known as golden leaves) as a symbol of gold wishing each other a bright and prosperous future. The tradition of exchanging Apta leaves is symbolic of Raghuraja, an ancestor of Rama and Kubera.
  • In Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated through music, dance and food. In nights they gather to perform Garba and Dandiya Rasa, the most popular folk dances of Gujarat.
  • In Orissa, Durga Puja is observed with rituals for a period of 10 to 16 days, known as Shodasa Upachara.
  • In Nepal, it is called as Dasain . This is the biggest festival of the year in Nepal. Among the Newars, it is known as Mohani.
  • In Bangladesh, Dussehra is a five-day long festival and is celebrated in mandaps. The largest festival is held at Dhakeshwari temple and Ramkrishna missionary in Dhaka.
  • During these 10 days many plays & dramas based on the epic of Ramayana are performed.  These are called Ramleela.
  • Many Hindus fast during these 9 days.



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