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Bastar Dussehra 2023 - Importance - Rituals - Pujas and Worship

Unlike in other regions of India, Dasara in Bastar has nothing to do with victory of Rama over Ravana. The Dussehra festival in Bastar in Chhattisgarh is associated with Goddess Danteshwari, the main goddess of the tribals of the region. Bastar Dussehra 2023 is on October 24. The rituals are spread over nearly two months. The important rituals are held for a fortnight from October 14, 2023 (Mahalaya Amavasya).

Bastar Dussehra Trivia

  • 75-day Tribal festival
  • Main worship dedicated to nature and Devi Danteshwari - the presiding deity of Bastar.
  • Observed from the 13th century
  • Thousands of tribals from surrounding villages and jungles gather here to pay homage to Devi Danteshwari
  • The murti of Goddess is taken out of the ancient Danteshwari temple and then taken around the city in an elaborate procession. 

Important Rituals - Pujas and Worship

  • Kalash Sthapana,
  • Pata Jatra (worship of wood), 
  • Lighting Jyoti Kalash
  • Deri Gadhai (posting of the pillars)
  • Kachan Gaadi (throne installation for Devi Kachan), 
  • Nisha Jatra (nocturnal festival), 
  • muria durbar (conference of tribal chieftains)
  • Ohadi (farewell to deities) on the last and final day

Legend has it that Maharaja Purushottam Deo, a Kakatiya ruler, started the festival of Dasara in Bastar in the 13th century. 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 distinctive 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.