Preparations get underway for 'Dussehra' festival in Kullu

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Kullu, Sept 24 (ANI): Kullu valley is abuzz with activity, as the residents get ready to celebrate the week-long 'Dussehra' festival, which is celebrated on the tenth day of 'Navratri'.

The history of Kullu 'Dussehra' dates back to the 17th century when the King Jaganand installed an idol of Raghunath (Lord Ram) on his throne as a mark of penance, after which Raghunath came to be known as the ruling deity of the valley.

During the seven-day long festival, idols of the various Gods and Goddesses of the valley are brought down and assembled at the ground.

Over 250 to 300 idols descend in their chariots to pay obeisance to Lord Rama known as Raghunath in the valley.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth sailing during the festivities.

"We would like to have peaceful 'Dussehra'. For that, we have made elaborate arrangements. All security precautions will be in place to see that the 'Dussehra' takes off in peaceful manner and no untoward happenings take place," said B.M Nanta, Deputy Commissioner.

Dussehra in Kullu is unique unlike the rest of the country. It is celebrated without the Ramlila or the burning of the effigies of the demon-king Ravana, and his son Meghanath and brother Kumbhkaran.

The festival was declared an "international festival" in 1972. Since then, it has assumed a multilingual dimension and cultural troupes from abroad also perform during the festival, besides from various regions of the country.

It ends with the sacrifice of a buffalo, a rooster, a lamb, a fish and a crab. Simultaneously, a huge pile of grass is set on fire symbolising the burning of Lanka, the kingdom of demon king Ravana. (ANI)

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