Tourist Destinations of Rajasthan
Dusshehra Festival [20th to 22nd October]
About the Fair
One of the big festivals celebrated in most parts of India is Dussehra.
The festival is celebrated with zest and festivities as it also marks the
beginning of the winter season after the long, unbearable, hot summer.
Dussehra marks the victory of Ram over the demon king Ravana, and the
rescue of his wife Sita. In north India, gigantic effigies of the
ten-headed Ravana and his brothers are set aflame amidst bursting of
crackers. Fairs are usually held on this occasion with lots to eat, buy
Dussehra means the Tenth Day, being the 10th day of the bright half of
Ashvin. This day is also known as Vijayadashmi, or the Victory Tenth,
because of the victory of Ram over Ravana.
As Dussehra is preceded by the Navratri or the nine days of the worship of
Goddess Durga, some rituals related to the Goddess are also carried out
that day. The rituals of Durga Puja involve the usual puja of goddess
Durga along with Lord Ram. On this day in Satyug, Ram (the eighth
incarnation of Lord Vishnu), killed the great demon and king of Lanka,
Ravan, who had abducted Ram's wife Sita. Ram, along, with his brother
Lakshman, follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle
for ten days to rescue his wife Sita.
According to another story, Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, a Brahmin,
was living in the city of Paithan. After studying under the guidance of
Rishi Varatantu, he insisted on his guru accepting a present, or
gurudakshina. Initially the guru refused but later asked for 140 million
gold coins, one hundred million for each of the subjects taught. The
obedient student went to the King Raghu to ask for the money, as the king
was renowned for his generosity. Within three days the king made the God
of Wealth Kuber make a rain of gold coins near the shanu and apati trees.
After giving the promised amount to the guru, Kautsa distributed the rest
of the coins among the needy on the day of Dussehra. Even today, in
Ayodhya, the capital of King Raghu, people loot the leaves of the apati
trees and present to each other as sone or gold.
Dussehra is one of the significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with much
joy and happiness in the entire country. The occasion marks the triumph of
Lord Ram over Ravana, the victory of good over evil. Brilliantly decorated
tableaux and processions depicting various episodes from Ram's life are
taken out. On the tenth day, or the Vijayadasami, colossal effigies of
Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnad are placed in vast open
spaces. Actors dressed as Ram, his consort Sita, and brother Lakshman
arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these effigies, which are stuffed with
firecrackers. The result is a deafening blast, and an explosion of sound
and light enhanced by the shouts of merriment and triumph of the
Also part of the celebration is the Ram Lila or the dramatic depiction of
episodes from the lives of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman. All the regions across
the country have evolved their own distinctive style, and performances at
different places are done in the local language.
This was also the day to worship the weapons. According to legend, Arjuna,
one of the Pandav princes, hid his weapons in a shami tree when the
Pandavs were banished into the forests. After one year he returned from
the forest and on the day of Dussehra, he retrieved his weapons and
worshipped them along with the shami tree. Hence the custom of worshipping
weapons on this day started.
Jaipur is the nearest airport for Kota. Indian airlines, Jet airways and
Sahara airlines have regular service to Jaipur. All the major cities are
connected to Jaipur.
The main bus station in Kota is located on Bundi Road near the eastern
bank of the Chambal River. There is a good bus service from Kota to Ajmer
(6 hours), Chittorgarh (6 hours), Jaipur (6 hours), Udaipur (6 hours),
Jodhpur (11 hours) and Bikaner (12 hours). Buses leave for Bundi every
half an hour and the travel time is 50 minutes.
Kota railway station is located at the extreme northern end of the town.
As Kota is on the main Delhi–Mumbai railway line via Sawai Madhopur, a
number of trains pass through and stop here. Trains to Madhopur take about
2˝ hours. There is a daily train for Chittorgarh via Bundi, from Kota.
The journey to Bundi takes about 1˝ hour, while it takes 5 hours to reach
Chittorgarh from Kota. There are also trains from Jaipur.