New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) Dussehra, symbolising triumph of good over evil, culminated in a grand affair across the country today with the burning of effigies of ten-headed demon king Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Meghnatha on Vijayadashmi.
A joyous feeling gripped the national capital where a grand function was held at the Ramlila Maidan at Red Fort.
Gracing the event were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna, Union Minister Kapil Sibal and other dignitaries who watched the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarana go up in flames, signifying the triumph of good over evil.
Dr Singh said: ''On this occasion, I hope that all Indians will take a pledge that they will leave no stone unturned to make India prosperous''.
Security in various market places like Janpath, Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar and Chittaranjan Park was stepped up following the recent blasts in Ludhiana and Ajmer.
Dussehra was celebrated in the strife-torn Kashmir valley after nearly 20 years with the effigy of Ravana being set ablaze in the Sher-i-Kashmir cricket stadium in an event attended also by several Muslims.
In what could be described as the best way to mark the triumph of good over evil, thousands of children in Kerala were initiated into the world of letters at temples and cultural and educational institutions.
It followed the customary inscribing of 'Harisree,' on their tongues with a golden ring and by making them write the letters in rice.
People of Sidhdhapur in Gujarat flew kites on this festival, a custom attributed to Sidhraj Jaisingh Solanki, the benevolent Emperor of Gujarat during 12th century.
Similar traditional grandeur and devotion could be seen in Bihar where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar congratulated the people of the state.
''Durga Puja'' was celebrated with traditional grandeur and devotion as people cutting across all affiliations offered their obeisance to Goddess Durga.
The ''Ravan Vadh'' was celebrated at the historical Gandhi Maidan where thousands of people thronged to witness the rituals.
The people of Uttar Pradesh celebrated the day with great enthusiasm, which also marked the end of 'Durga Puja'.
Large processions accompanied the idol immersion ceremony amid chanting of devotional songs and hymns.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a Dusshera function organised by Mandir Mata Bhadar Kali Dusehra Committee called upon the people of the state to follow the legacy of Lord Rama and stamp out the evil forces that were a threat to the unity and integrity of the nation.
The ten-day Mysore Dussehra festivities came to an end with the Royal family performing the 'Shammi Pooja' at the Bhuvenswari temple in the Palace courtyard here.
Similar interplay of faith and fervour was witnessed in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Goa.