In the movie, Ra-One, Arjun Rampal says, ‘ Tum har saal Ravan ko isliye jalate ho kyunki tum jante ho voh kabhi nahi marta’, which means that people burn Raavan every year, on Dussehra, because he is immortal. However, this is not the exact reason why Indians celebrate Dusshera every year. According to several legends, the celebrations of Dussehra in India are a mark of the victory of good over evil. It commemorates the day of Lord Ram’s win over Ravana in a battle that lasted for 9 days. Another story also states Goddess Durga’s win over Mahishasura on this day. This also explains the different names of Dussehra – ‘Dasara’, Dashain, ‘Vijaydashami’, etc. There are many significant reasons for Dussehra celebrations in India and Dussehra 2023 is going to be celebrated with much more grandiosity than ever. 

Check out ways for celebrations in India for Dussehra 2023

There are many ways in which you can celebrate Dussehra in India. Some include spending time at home with your family, exchanging gifts, going for garba nights, pandal hopping or planning a trip with your loved ones. From large processions of several deities, Durga Puja celebrations to Ram Leela and Ravan Dahan’s programmes, there are several different rituals of Dussehra celebrations. 

Dussehra is known by different names in different states of India. Even the celebration style and rituals are different everywhere. Want to know about how Dussehra is celebrated in different states of India? 

Here are the 6 best states that reveal unique celebrations of Dussehra in India. 

1. Gujarat

Navratri in Gujarat
Gujaratis enjoying Garba during Navaratri
Image Credit: Republic World

For Gujarat, Dussehra is not a one-day celebration but has a build-up for 9 days initially. These days are celebrated as Navaratra or Navratri. Locals worship Goddess Durga and even observe fasts. However, what makes this occasion special is the traditional folk dance – Garba. Men and women adorn traditional clothes like Ghagra Choli and Kedia. With colourful dandiyas in hand, they stay up late at night, playing Garba in circles to the best folk music. For these days, the entire state is dazed in the most eccentric celebrations full of dance, music, colour and extravaganza. 

Additionally, rituals on Dussehra day also include worshipping all the things that bring you money and prosperity. For eg. The fresh soil is worshipped as new seeds are sown. Vehicles and tools which provide income are also worshipped. If you want to fully enjoy, i.e. with a lot of dance and music, Navratri as well as Dussehra in India there is no place else you should be. On Dussehra day, locals are known to relish the best Gujarati food like Fafda and Jalebi. The day is then followed by pujas and many even join the processions for Goddess Durga later on. 

Not only Indians from different states, but even plenty of foreigners flock to Gujarat for Dussehra celebrations. Check out our affordable Gujarat Tour Packages to make the most out of your visit to the state for this special occasion. Avert the tourist influx and make your hotel bookings online in advance. 

2. Kolkata, West Bengal

Durga Pooja in Kolkata
Durga Pooja celebrations in Kolkata during Dussehra
Image Credit: Rudra Narayan Mitra

Not only celebrations for Dussehra in India are different in different states but there are even different names for Dussehra. In West Bengal, it is known as ‘Vijay Dashami’ which translates to ‘victory tenth’. It is believed that on the tenth day, Goddess Durga returns to her husband after killing the demon Mahishasura. Prior to Vijay Dashami for 9 days, each place in West Bengal, especially Kolkata, is engrossed in Durga Pooja celebrations. Huge pandals are put up in every corner of Kolkata with unique themes and Durga idols made to match the themes. 

People get together in groups to go pandal hopping, immerse themselves in aartis and enjoy the prasad. On the tenth day, a maha aarti is conducted, ladies dress up in traditional sarees, offer sweets and smear vermillion. Then a procession is taken out with dhols and music. The idol is then immersed in the Hooghly River or other water bodies. 

Experience the ‘Sindoor Khela’ and the dynamic Durga Pooja vibes with our West Bengal Tour Packages. Opt for cheap flight bookings online in advance, so there are no hindrances in your Dussehra 2023 celebrations. 

3. Mumbai, Maharashtra

Raavan Dahan in Mumbai
Raavan Dahan at Girgaon Chowpatty in Mumbai
Image Credit: Ramniklal Modi

Just like Gujarat, even in Mumbai, Dussehra crowns Navratri celebrations. Mumbai has adopted rituals and traditions from how different states celebrate Dussehra in India. Here you can see huge pandals for idols of Goddess Durga, huge grounds organising Garba nights as well as Raavan Dahan. From the fascinating and angelic voice of Falguni Pathak to the whimsical tunes of Gita Rabari and the dhols of Naitik Nagda, you can enjoy garba nights all over the city. 

On Dussehra day, initially, people worship their tools of income as well as their vehicles. Traditions like investing in gold, silver, vehicles or new houses have been consistent over the years. Late in the night, idols of Goddess Durga are taken for immersion in the sea. You even get a chance to see traditional rituals like Raavan Dahan. Visit Girgaum Chowpatty after sunset, pick a nice spot and soon you will be able to witness the Ramleela performance and Raavan Dahan with a backdrop of the sea. 

By this time of the year, the entire city is decked up in the festive spirit for Dussehra followed by Diwali and Christmas. Plus this city offers a glimpse of several states’ celebrations of Dussehra in India. Take a trip to Mumbai with our all-inclusive Mumbai Tour Packages. Also, Mumbai is well-connected to major Indian cities so book cheap flights to Mumbai online in advance. 

4. Mysore, Karnataka

Mysuru Dussehra celebrations in Mysore
The Royal Elephant carrying Golden Howdah with an Idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari

Just like the vibrant culture of India, even celebrations of Dussehra in India are very vibrant. In Mysore, the festival is called ‘Mysuru Dasara’ and displays Mysore’s royal history. The royal family of Mysore are the flag bearers of the extravagant glitz and glamour. 

The Dussehra festivities start at the Mysore Palace which is lit up with thousands of lights which is a sight to behold. The royal family first holds a grand Durga Puja at the palace, which is then followed by the royal procession- ‘Jambu Savari’. 12 elephants are trained and decorated nicely and one of them carries an idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari atop a golden mandap. The procession starts from the palace to Bannimantap and in the end, you can also see the Torch Light Parade. The city also puts up a display of religious and cultural performances like Mada Kusti, a Flower show, a heritage display at Doddakere Maidan and various traditional dances, musicals and displays of swordsmanship in various pockets of the city. 

Karnataka is nature’s heaven. Visit the state during Dussehra and plan a trip with our affordable Karnataka Tour Packages. The 5 best Karnataka tourist spots are Mysore Palace, Coorg Hill, Hampi, Jog Falls and Nandi Beach. 

5. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

Varied celebrations of Dussehra in India- Kullu
Street procession celebrating god Raghunath during Kullu Dussehra
Image Credit: Paulharding00

Kullu, the Valley of Gods, gives a different divine touch to the celebrations of Dussehra in India. Unlike other states of India, Kullu starts the celebrations on Vijay Dashami day and is extended for 7 days after. The traditions here date back to the 17th century and by now it attracts lakhs of tourists from around the world. 

At the start of the festival, an idol of Goddess Hadimba is carried from its temple in Manali to Kullu’s royal family’s palace. Even an idol of Lord Ram or Raghunath is carried around town on the shoulders of devotees. After these processions, idols of several gods and goddesses are taken to a ground where they are kept for the next 7 days. So many idols and devotees gathered together in one place, truly lights up the town in an exalted manner. The atmosphere is further lit up by fairs, exhibitions and cultural displays. 

Not only Kullu, but the entire state of Himachal Pradesh is no less than heaven on Earth. Explore the state’s surreal natural beauty with our all-inclusive Himachal Tour Packages

6. Delhi

Dussehra in Delhi
Ramlila shows all over Delhi
Image Credit: PradeepGaurs

Delhi and its people love to celebrate festivals in a grand manner. Dussehra celebrations in India’s capital Delhi are a mark of victory of good over evil as the entire city adorns a garb of lights and colours.

The festival is celebrated to commemorate Lord Ram’s win over the evil Raavan and the event is majorly highlighted in two major ways. Ramlila shows and Raavan Dahan. Ramlila shows are held all over Delhi from small localities to huge maidans. For visitors coming to Delhi, you can catch a Ramleela show at Ramlila Maidan, Subhash Maidan, Lal Qila Maidan, Dwaraka Ground, and Red Fort Lawn. Even though Raavan Dahan events are held at many small places, the one at Red Fort is unmissable. 

Visit Delhi for some unique Dussehra 2023 celebrations and top it off with some street shopping and Delhi’s special street food. 

7. Kota, Rajasthan

Dussehra in Kota
Raavan Dahan in Rajasthan’s Kota
Image Credit: India TV News

Even Kota’s celebration of Dussehra is about celebrating the victory of good over evil. After a procession is carried out, a member of the royal family shoots an arrow at the effigies of Ravana along with Kumbhkaran and Meghnad. Once the effigies are burnt, several loaded firecrackers light up the night sky. 

Kota is also known to hold a special 25-day ‘Kota Dussehra Mela’. Along with several cultural performances, one can also enjoy unique competitions like moustache and turban competitions, mehendi, rangoli, and Mandana competitions and also deadly performances like ‘Maut Ka Kuan’. A visit to Rajasthan is incomplete without trying out the best Rajasthan delicacies like Kachori and also shopping for some traditional items. 

Winters in Rajasthan are quite wholesome and bearable, especially in the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Plan a vacation with our Rajasthan Tour Packages and spend your holiday in royal style. 

These are the 6 best states for celebrating Dussehra in India. Apart from these places, Dussehra is also well-celebrated in Almora, Kulasekarapattinam, Varanasi, Bastar, Madikeri, etc. 

There are so many unique and varied celebrations for Dussehra in India. This Dussehra instead of celebrating Dussehra in your state like always, take a trip to another Indian state and witness a different style of celebration. 

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