FESTIVE SEASON IN INDIA

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“If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away”

Howdy friends! Today is Saptami ( Seventh day of Durga navratri). With the end of Pitr paksh (month of forefathers) and now its the Devi paksh (matri paksh) according to Hindu scriptures,  it usher the start of festive season in India,  where kaleidoscope of different culture melts and give its unique culture as we rightly say “vasudev kutumbakam”.

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As the dark clouds of monsoon are retreating paving its way to clear skies with slight pinch of cold,  making its foray a slice of dewdrop on the green grass, could be felt on bare foot, lush paddy fields with kash flower (Saccharum spontaneum) gently moving in a breeze with a pond nearby within a village, makes a soothing sight for the reveler, gentle fragrance of shiuli (Night-flowering Jasmine) permeates our mind preparing us to begin the festivities in jovial mood. As Durga Puja and Navratri is on and its time to join the joy and merriment, taste the best of culinary  cuisine and bond with our family.

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Today I am sharing 5 awesome places to be during durga puja/dussehra/ navratri to feel the spirit of festive season.

Kolkata: If you want to see  the kind of excitement a festival invokes you must visit kolkata during Durga puja. Not only men and women shop to their hearts content where sari and jewellery shopping among other thing is a must, kids are given gifts by their elders. Here, though crowds throng in thousands to catch a glimpse of the goddess Durga along with pandal hopping (best decoration with myriad of things and theme with best artisan showing their craftsmanship), food is another wow factor which adds  to its charm whether eating bhog (khichdi, allu dum (potato preparation), labra (kind of mix veg), chatni, payesh etc. At sarbojonin (community) durga puja, royal family puja DHAK, ANJALI, BHOG is a  must or tasting new delicacies at plethora of restaurants to satisfy your taste buds you have everything on your platter. Now don’t wait just go to Kolkata for having fun during Durga puja.

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Delhi/Allahabad: You must be wondering why I added this place well in Allahabad there is unique way of celebrating dussehra where ramdal procession is taken out during whole night, it’s a splendid view to watch along with ramlila which goes for entire night with lights and stalls all over and durga puja pandals all over (probashi Bengali in a good majority lives there). During Dussehra entire Delhi is decked up and the festival reach its crescendo with Ram and Ravana (characters of Ramayana) cutouts are made for the finale where Rama kills ravana after wards fireworks begin which adds to the splendor.

Gujarat Navratri : This place is vibrant and colorful during navratri (nine day celebration of goddess durga) as people in colorful attire gather in a collective place, where garbo (earthen pot with coconut, betel and coin placed). This is followed by  garba also called dandia by using small sticks in a rhythmic concentric rings, they start dancing staring slowly but gains momentum ultimately reaching its high feverish pitch. For every nine days they gather and celebrate the festival with great fervor esp in Vadodara, where traditional to modern acoustic music in Dandia is present. If you enjoy dancing join the cultural extravaganza in Gujarat where great food stuff is also there like phaphda, thepla etc to give you a satisfying feel.

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Kullu Dussehra: This is a very picturesque location in Himachal Pradesh where people come along-with Manali to visit. Many of us didn’t know about Dussehra festival which is world famous when entire country (India) finishes celebrating Vijaya Dashami on 10th day, Kullu dussehra starts. Folklore has it that 17th century ruler Jagat Singh removed his curse by bringing lord Rama (Raghunathji) and took charnamrit and placed deity on his throne and now presiding deity,  where around 3-4 lakh people gather at Dhalpur (Kullu) and is an international festival where procession of Raghunath ji (Lord Rama) is taken out along with many local deities. At night cultural fest called  Kala Kendar happens where many artistes showcase their talents in this 7 day long dussehra festival where people gather to rejoice and merriment. You can also join them stay there, or in Manali (40km) to get that festive feel on hills.

Mysore Dussehra: This is one of the most visually delightful Dussehra as the entire royal palace of Mysore is illuminated for 10 days as the tradition was started Vijayanagar kings but carried on by Wadeyar dynasty of Mysore till day. In 2010 festival here completed 400years after expiry of king in 2013 sword (pattada katti) is kept on throne, but now new king is anointed (queen mother adopted a son recently) to continue the legacy. Festivities starts with a huge procession of elephants, carriages, dance groups, horses  where goddess Chamundeshwari (Ma Durga) is placed on golden mantap on an elephant. A special puja is done at the bannimantap at  banni tree (prosopis spicigera) by the royal family (legend has that Pandavas hide their weapons during agyatvasa to emerge victorious ) which is continued by the kings. At night an event called Panjina Kavyattu torch light parade is conducted. Elephant procession is called jumbo sawari. Nowadays opposite to the palace a grand exhibition is arranged. So with such an illuminated view of the palace, a grand jumbo sawari where goddess on a golden throne sits on an elephant so that people could worship and catch a glimpse of the deity. So don’t miss this enchanting view of Mysore this Dussehra.

  • Special mention for Bastar Dussehra which is promoted by state

 

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So friends we have seen some amazing places to visit this Durga puja/ Navratri/ Dussehra hope you all enjoy the festivities and fill your life with joy and happiness.My  warm wishes to all my readers and friends a very Happy Dussehra.

 

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