Allahabad, Sept 26 : Scores of people in Allahabad participated in a procession to sing praise of Ravana, the mythological demon-king representing evil on Thursday.
A number of tableaux depicting Ravana's strength and the grandeur of his court formed a part of the procession. Many people participated in the procession dressed up as Ravana, his wife Mandodari, his brother Kumbhakaran and his son Meghnath.
They said although the demon-king Ravana represented evil in Hindu mythology, he was a learned Brahmin and is worshiped for that reason.
"Today, we are worshiping the king of Lanka, Ravana. A big procession is also being taken out in the city. Since he (Ravana) was a Brahmin by caste, he is worshipped just like any Brahmin," said Jitendra Prasad Chaudhary, a resident.
Locals claimed that this procession has been traditionally taken out every year for more than 500 years.
"This tradition has been going on for years. I have come here to see this procession. The world can see this. This does not take place anywhere else," said Hamendra Nath Goswami, a spectator.
Local priests said the city was the location of Sage Bharadwaj's hermitage and as per his preaching upper caste Brahmins are to be worshiped and Ravana was also a Brahmin.
But after about 13 days on 'Dussahara', which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath would be burnt amid great fanfare and religious devotion, marking the end of the nine day long Hindu festival of "Navratri".
According to Hindu epic Ramayana, Ravana abducted warrior king Ram's consort Sita. Rama then waged a war against Ravana to release Sita from demon-king's captivity. He defeated Ravana on Dussehra day. Rama's victory over Ravana is depicted as the triumph of good over evil.