Unlike in other regions of India, Dasara in Bastar has nothing to do with victory of Rama over Ravana. The Dusshera festival in Bastar in Chhattisgarh is associated with Goddess Danteshwari, the main goddess of the tribals of the region.
Legend has it that Maharaja Purushottam Deo, a Kakatiya ruler, started the festival of Dasara in Bastar. He underwent a penance and walked on foot to Puri Jagannath Temple. He propitiated the deity and offered pujas and prayers. He also made a large donation of gold coins.
That night Lord Jagannath appeared in the dream of the chief priest of the temple and asked him to present a 12-wheel chariot to the king.
Since then the rulers of Bastar are also known as Rathapat and rode on the chariot during Dasara.
A distincitive feature of the Dasara festival here is the ceremonial pulling of the chariot through the town by tribes. The chariot has the insignia of Goddess Danteshwari.
An important aspect of the festival is tribal dances in traditional attire. Traditional tribal music is played as part of the celebrations.