Kullu Dasehra ends with ‘Lanka Dahan’

Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, October 11

The seven-day International Kullu Dasehra festival concluded here today after the 'Lanka Dahan' ceremony.

'Nazrana' raised

'Nazrana' paid to local deities participating in the Kullu Dasehra festival will be increased by 15 per cent and distance allowance by 20 per cent

Earlier, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over the closing ceremony at the Atal Sadan here. He released the Kullu Dasehra souvenir and gave away prizes to the winners of various events.

Thakur announced that the 'Nazrana' (honorarium) paid to local deities participating in the Kullu Dasehra festival would be increased by 15 per cent and the distance allowance by 20 per cent. He also announced a 15 per cent increase in remuneration of 'bajantaris' (traditional musicians) accompanying the deities and an allowance of Rs 1,500 for the deities visiting the Kullu Dasehra but not getting distance allowance.

The Chief Minister announced that the grant would be increased for the Haripur Dasehra, Manikaran Dasehra and Vashisht Dasehra. He also announced that Rs 50,000 would be provided for the celebration of Dasehra at Naggar.

Later, Thakur inaugurated 10 development projects worth Rs 38.25 crore and laid the foundation stone of 21 projects worth Rs 126.05 crore for the district.

Marking the event, the Rath Yatra of Lord Raghunath was carried out from the temple premises, located at the middle of the Dhalpur ground to the southern end, known as the Cattle ground, to perform the 'Lanka Dahan' ceremony.

The idols of Lord Raghunath, Sita, Hanuman and other deities were placed on a beautifully decorated wooden chariot called the Rath, which was then pulled by thousands of devotees. The palanquins of the deities participating in the festival accompanied the Rath during the yatra.

Before 2014, sacrifices of different animals were made to appease Goddess Kali on the culmination of the festival at Lanka Bekar. It was believed to be the end of Ravana and his allies.

According to tradition, earlier the sacrifice of a male buffalo, a male lamb, a cock, a crab and a fish was made to put an end to various evils like 'krodha', 'madh', 'kama', 'moha' and 'lobha'. But now the ritual is carried out by sacrificing a coconut and other offerings, after animal sacrifice at religious places and congregations was banned in 2014 by the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

After the sacrifice ritual, the wooden chariot was pulled back to the northern end of the ground known as Rath Maidan and then idols were carried back in palanquins to their sanctum sanctorum in Sultanpur. In the mid-17th century, these idols were brought from Ayodhya under the instructions of Raja Jagat Singh, the then ruler of the Rupi (Kullu) valley.

These are worshipped for seven days at the camp temple at the Dhalpur ground.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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