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Dasara – Dusshera in 2008

In North India and Karnataka, the 9-day Sharad Navratri festival in Ashwin month and the 10th day of Vijaya Dashami festival is together referred as Dusshera. Some people only refer the last day (10th day) as Dasara. If Navratri festival celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahisha, Dussera in North India celebrates Lord Ram’s victory over Ravan in Ramayana. The Dussehra celebrations thus symbolize the prevalence of Dharma or the victory of the good over evil. In 2008, the date of Dasara, or Dusshera, is October 9.

The term Dusshera is widely used in North India and Karnataka and it is also referred as Vijaya Dashami. In South India, Vijaya Dasami is the day after Navratri celebrations. In Eastern parts of India, it is the last day of Durga Puja celebrations.

In Karnataka, Dusshera commemorates the victory of Goddess Chamundi or Goddess Chamudeswari over Demon Mahishasura. It is believed that Goddess Chamundi (Durga) vanquished Mahisha and other demons on this day after 10-day long war.

In North India, Dussehra is believed to be the day when Ravana was killed by Lord Ram. The 10-day festival reaches a climax on Dussehra with the burning of effigies of Ravana, Kumbakarna and Meghnath.

The most famous Dusshera celebrations in Karnataka take place Mysore in Karnataka, which is also known as ‘Nadahabba.’

It is also believed that during this period Lord Ram performed ‘Chandi Puja’ to invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga for slaying Ravana. Pleased with Lord Ram, Goddess Durga or Goddess Chamundeswari divulged the secret to Lord Rama on how to slay Ravana. Thus there is a link between the Durga Puja, Navratri and Dusshera.