Weeklong 'Kullu Dussehra' ends in Himachal Pradesh

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Kullu (HP), Oct 5 (ANI): The week-long Kullu Dussehra festival concluded 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.

Hundreds of devotees participated in the procession, drawing the chariot of Hindu Lord Rama and those of other Gods and Goddesses through winding streets, as drumbeats and chants rent the air.

The festival full of pomp and show, was an exposure to India's religion and culture for many a visitor to the place.

"Yesterday evening we came to see this procession. I have never seen such peaceful scene before. I have travelled several times to India but this is the first time I have been at the festival like this," said Franzz Murr, a tourist from Austria.

"I like the festival very much. It's very exciting, full of people...it's great fun," said Elvina, another tourist from Austria.

During the seven-day long festival, idols of 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.

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

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. (ANI)

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