The festival of Dussehra celebrated in Kota is called Kota Dussehra. Dussehra is a well-known festival of India, it is a festival of triumph of good over evil which indicates the victory of Lord Ram over evil Ravan. The festival is celebrated with a lot of merrymaking and feasting and huge effigies of Ravan are burnt in many places on this day.
In the town of Kota, Rajasthan Dussehra is celebrated with great fanfare and pomp with a yearly Mela held for days and visited by lakhs of people with full enthusiasm. Kota Dussehra Mela is the Dussehra festival fair organized in the month of October in Kota, Rajasthan, India. On the occasion, a fair is organized which starts on the first day of Navratri and goes on till a day before Dhanteras festival which marks the beginning of Deepawali. During the fair at Kota prominent artists from all over India participate in various cultural performances.
The exclusiveness of the Kota Dussehra lies in its tall demon effigies. The demon king Ravana effigy as tall as 75 feet and above is set ablaze along with the effigies of Meghnad and Kumbhakarna which symbolize the victory of good over evil. Arrows of fire are shot 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 spectators.
You will also find grand-level processions and eye-striking representations of the lifetimes of Lord Rama and Sita. This is followed by a series of Kavi sammelans, mushairas, and mustache competitions! Festivities and the cattle fair commence from the day after the effigy of Ravana is burnt. Various cultural programs last for a fortnight while the cattle & trade fair continues for the whole month in the town.
History of Kota Dussehra
The festival is celebrated all over the country but the Kota Dussehra is quite unique for it marks more than just the beginning of a festive period. The tradition of organizing the Dussehra fair in Kota which runs for 25 days was started by Maharaj Durjanshal Singh Hada in 1723 AD. Those days, the celebrations used to last 3 days and religious programs at different temples were the main events of the ceremonies. Maharao Ummed Singh II (1889-1940 A.D.) was the one who made Dussehra Mela what it is today. Now the Dussehra fair takes place for 25 days and Ravan effigies were raised to 75 feet which used to be 20-25 feet. The worship of weapons during this festival was essential for the martial Rajput race. While in some places a goat is sacrificed in order to propitiate Kali, the goddess of destruction and war. They enjoy the festival savoring sugar cane and the mouth-watering sweetmeat Jalebi.
Villagers gather here dressed in multicolored clothes to offer prayers to Lord Rama and to celebrate his victory over Ravana. Rich in courtly splendor and age-old traditions, the Dussehra festival here is marked by a glittering procession, which attracts thousands from the surrounding villages. Craftsmen and artisans from the nearby areas come to this fair to sell their products. Watching cultural programs and tasting authentic Rajasthani food is among the main attractions of the fair. International tourists also come to immerse themselves in Dussehra Mela in Kota.