Amid the vibrant hues of the festive season, a unique and historical celebration has sprung to life in the heart of Bastar district. Commencing a 75-day Bastar Dusshera Festivity, the locals of Bastar district are set to embark on the world’s longest Dussehra celebration, entwined with a centuries-old sacred tradition. The grandeur of this event is underlined by a profound adherence to a 600-year-old ritual that encapsulates the essence of their cultural heritage.
This captivating ritual hinges on the belief that the revered goddess ‘Kachhin’ bestows her divine permission upon the ‘Raj Parivar’ (royal family) of Bastar, granting them the solemn right to host the auspicious Dussehra festivities. As per the ancient customs, the initiation of this grand jubilee is marked by the compelling sight of a young girl, embodying the spirit of Goddess ‘Kachhin’, swaying gracefully on a swing of thorns—a symbolic portrayal of the goddess’ divine benediction.
Intriguingly, the unfolding of the Bastar Dusshera celebrations involves a medley of daily rituals performed over the course of the extended 75-day spectacle. Diverging from conventional practices, where effigies of ‘Ravan’ are typically set ablaze, the vibrant merriment in Bastar district revolves around paying homage to the formidable ‘Mahishasur Mardini Adishakti’. This distinctive approach radiates a deep-seated reverence for the indigenous traditions ingrained within the local tribal community.
Bastar Dusshera Festivity – A 600 year old tradition
A revered member of the Raj Parivar, Kamal Chandra Bhanjdev, shed light on the cherished history of this time-honored ritual, emphasizing its unbroken continuity spanning over six centuries. “After receiving the benevolent consent from the revered goddess, our jubilant festivities are set into motion. The ceremonial ‘Kalash Sthapna’ and ‘Rath yatra’ are scheduled to inaugurate the festivities,” Bhanjdev shared during an interview with ANI, exuding profound enthusiasm for the forthcoming jubilations.
Delving deeper into the cultural tapestry, it’s believed that the heroic sacrifice of two valiant daughters of the region’s king, Kachhin Devi and Raila Devi, epitomizes the resilience and valor embedded within the community’s collective memory. Their courageous act of ‘Johar’—a poignant symbol of self-immolation over submission to adversaries—continues to serve as a potent reminder of the indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to their ancestral legacy.
As the beats of drums intermingle with the aroma of traditional delicacies, the residents of Bastar district remain resolute in their devotion to preserving the sanctity of this remarkable 75-day festival—a testament to their unyielding bond with their cultural roots and a celebration that transcends the boundaries of time.
With each passing day, this vibrant Bastar Dusshera gala promises to offer an enchanting glimpse into the rich tapestry of India’s diverse cultural landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to witness its splendor.