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Bastar Dussehra

The Dussehra at Bastar is a rich and complex festival that celebrates the role of the Goddess Danteshwari as the titular deity in Bastar. There are many layers of political, and cultural significance embedded in this event that was initiated by the Kakatiya rulers in the fifteenth century. At one level it can be seen as a ritual of kingship, marking the presence of the state in the life of the people of Bastar. There are remarkable social practices followed in the organization of this event spread over several weeks, involving and bringing together every community in the state of Bastar. The festivities involve the crafting of wooden chariots, the bringing together of deities from nearly every village, the procession that brings the goddess Danteshwari from Dantewada to Jagdalpur to be received by local deities and the people of Bastar. This module pieces together different aspects of this unique festival, that celebrates the role of the goddess Danteshwari in Bastar and not the victory of Rama over Ravana.

 

This content has been created as part of a project commissioned by the Directorate of Culture and Archaeology, Government of Chhattisgarh, to document the cultural and natural heritage of the state of Chhattisgarh