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Kullu Dusshera

 
  dusshera of kullu  
 
Dussehra, commemorating the victory of Rama over Ravana is celebrated all over India, but the Dussehra of Kullu has got its own significance. Dussehra at Kullu commences on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e, on 'Vijaya Dashmi' day itself and continues for seven days. There is no 'retelling' of the Ramayana. On the first day, the idol of Raghunathji saddle on a gaily attired chariot and attended to by village gods mounted in cofourfuI planquins, is pulled from its fixed place in Dhalpur Maidan to another spot across the Maidan by big ropes. The pulling of ropes is regarded sacred by the local people. This forms a huge procession. All the gods of the valley have to visit Kullu on Dussehra in order to pay their homage to Raghunathji. On the following days in the mornings and evenings the gods are invoked and paraded. The people remain busy buying, selling, singing and dancing during all the seven days of the festival which concludes with the burning of Lanka. The chariot of Raghunathji is taken near the bank of river Beas on the last day of the festival where a pile of wood and grass is set on fire which symbolizes the burning of Lanka and is followed by the sacrifice of chosen animals. The chariot is brought back to its original place and the idol of Raghunathji is taken to its temple in Sultanpur. The attendent gods also disperse for their destinations. The timings of Dussehra, incidently came to be so adjusted as to be in the last brightest days of the weather, after which the bleak winter started, closing all the high passes and restricting movements. It roughly commences from the last day of Dussehra in the plains, incidently affording time for the plains-men to be here for trade. The celebration of Dussehra in Kullu on the conclusion of the festival in the plains is a mystery for which no historic background is available.