The entire country celebrated Dussehra after burning effigies of Ravana and his brothers on October 6, but Kullu on Wednesday celebrated unique Dussehra after burning shrubs and grass to denote burning of Lanka.
The seven-day-long Dussehra festivities of Kullu concluded with burning of Lanka. Accompanied by 226 deities, chariot of lord Raghunath ji was pulled up to Lanka Bekar near river Beas in Kullu. The non-invited guest of Dussehra, Balu Nag, was not allowed to take part in the ceremony. As per the tradition, palanquins of all deities stopped at a certain distance while Goddess Hadimba continued its journey to play final rituals. Heaps of grass and shrubs were burnt here as a symbol of Lanka Dahan (burning of Lanka), victory of good over evil.
Priest of Goddess Hadimba, Rohit Ram Sharma, said Hadimba is considered grandmother of royal family of Kullu and she starts and ends the Dussehra festivity. “All other deities cannot come to execute final ceremony of Lanka Dahan. They only watch the things happening from a certain distance. The tradition is centuries old,” he said.
Lakhs of devotees were shoting ‘Jai Shri Ram, Jai Raghunath’ while pulling the chariot. Entire valley was echoing with heavenly sound of drums and trumpets.
After burning the Lanka, palanquins and idols of deities embraced each other, paid final obeisance to Lord Raghunath ji (Rama), and left for their respective shrines. They started their two to three day-long on foot journey to back home. All deities would congregate here again during Dussehra festivity next year.
Meanwhile, the international cultural programmes in Kullu were concluded by state chief minister PK Dhumal. However, the Dussehra shopping would continue till Diwali festival.