Famous Bastar Dussehra, a 75-day unique festival, now being held in tribal heartland of Chhattisgarh, has nothing to do with Lord Rama’s triumphant return to Ayodhya after decimating Ravana, but it’s all about nature and Devi Ma Danteshwari, the presiding deity of Bastar.

Unique rituals of this more than 500-year-old festival, celebrated with all pomp and show, cuts across caste and creed, creating bonhomie between people from various castes and tribes in the region.
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Dussehra began with ‘pata jatra’, which is worship of wood. The age-old custom, which includes variety of rituals associated with this celebration are unique to tribal Bastar region.

Worship of wood is followed by ‘deri gadhai’- posting of the pillars, kachan gaadi- throne for goddess Kachan Devi, kalash sthapana- installation of urns, jogi bithai- jogi’s penance, rath parikrama- the chariot circuit, nisha jatra- the nocturnal festival, jogi uthai- raising of the jogi, maoli parghav- reception of Devi Maoli, bheetar raini- the inner circuit, baahar raini- the outer circuit, kachan jatra- thanksgiving ceremony, muria durbar- the tribal chieftains’ conference and finally on the last day, ohadi- a farewell to deities. All these rituals and festivities take place between Hareli Amavasya till the 13th day of full moon of Aswin, bringing more joy in the tribal land, known for its rich culture.
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The origin of Bastar Dussehra dates back to 15th century AD, when the Kaktiya ruler King Purushottam Deo went to Jagannath Puri temple for worship and came back as ‘Rath-pati’ with a divine permission to mount on chariot. Since then, Dussehra is being celebrated by people of Bastar in this unique way.

Raipur: Famous Bastar Dussehra , a unique 75-day long country’s longest festive extravaganza concluded in the tribal heartland of Chhattisgarhon Vijayadashami on Tuesday. What makes this 75-day long festival unique is that it is all about nature and Goddess Ma Danteshwari and has nothing to do with Lord Rama’s triumph over Ravana

One get to see unique rituals in this more than 500-year-old festival which , cuts across caste and creed, promoting harmony and bonhomie among people . Over the years, Bastar Dusshera has emerged as a major tourist attraction with huge number of people turning up at Jagdalpur to witness the final day ceremony.dashahara10

Bastar Dussehra begins from Amavasya in the month of Shravna ans spans over 75 days, ending on the thirteen day of the bright moon in the month of Ashwin. This year it began on on August 14 with ‘pata jatra’, which means worship of wood. The age-old custom, which includes variety of rituals associated with this celebration are unique to tribal Bastar region.

 The rituals involve a congregation of hundreds of local deities of various communities and villages across the erstwhile state of Bastar. The festival involves rituals of extraordinary rigor like a girl of 6-7 years of age lay on a bed of thorns; As saint sits on a vigil with shoulder-deep buried for nine days. The festival brings a great deal of ardour and enthusiasm among locals.bastardussehra685
 The origin of Bastar Dussehra dates back to 15th century AD, when the Kaktiya ruler King Purushottam Deo went to Jagannath Puri temple for worship and came back as ‘Rath-pati’ with a divine permission to mount on chariot. Since then, Dussehra is being celebrated by people of Bastar in this unique way.Deities from various small temples across Bastar travel to district headquarters of Jagdalpur. The chariot on which the procession of local dieites is carried out is made of special wood from Odisha .and its contruction is supervised Dhakada tribe . The Khaki tribe worships the chariot before it is used. The Parja tribe provides ropes to pull the chariot, while Maria and Dhurwa tribes pull the Dussehra rath. The chariot carries the holy umbrella or chhatra, of goddess Danteshwari where ages ago the king used to sit.

On the dayof victory or Vijayadashami, an eight-wheel chariot makes an inner circuit, and on the 12th day, a thanksgiving ceremony is organized to celebrate the conclusion of the festival, offering prayers to Devi Kanchan. Thereafter public representatives get together at Sirasar to discuss public welfare. Maoli goddess visiting from Dantewada is accorded a warm send-off . And with a send off to other deities Dusshera celebrations come to an end. Bastar Dussehra is deeply influenced by the local myths and religious beliefs and the customs of the tribals.

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