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Preparations For a Bigger Than-Before Ramleela and Dusshehra in Full Swing

Preparations are now on in full swing for what the organisers promise to be never-seen-before scale of Ramleela and Dussehra celebrations this year. Dussehra is one of the most popular festivals in India and is celebrated nation-wide with different traditions and rituals. The preparations begin much in advance. Dussehra or Vijayadashami is celebrated on the tenth or last day after Navratri and 20 days before Diwali. It has links to both the Ramayana and Mahabharata, two of the greatest epics in Hindu mythology, and spreads the message of following the right path as in the end, the truth al-ways triumphs. The 21st Dwarka Ramleela Mahotsav will start from 13th October to 24th October and for full ten days, the function ground will be abuzz with activity and excitement for young and old. The organisers expect a record breaking crowd this year from all over the Capital. The festival has been growing in popularity in Dwarka sub city over the years due to the huge efforts by the organ-isers and the brain child of Mukesh and Sudha Sinha. Indeed an awesome spectacle awaits every-body. Along with the Ramleela, we have a lot in store for the visitors that will really be different from the past. Dussehra is one of the most celebrated festivals and there are several reasons for it too. Steeped in mythology, this festival has been mentioned in ancient scriptures for various reasons. Due to this, the way it is celebrated is also different in each region. While some rituals overlap, there are a few that are completely different. One story that tells us about Dussehra is the one mentioned in Ra-mayana. The abduction of Sita, Rama’s wife, by King of Lanka Ravana led to a fierce battle between the two of them. Rama was supported by his troupe that included his brother Laxmana and Hanuman, his dis-ciple. The battle went on for several days before Rama finally destroyed Ravana and his army and res-cued his wife. The day this happened marks the celebration of Dussehra. This is the reason why effigies of Ravana are burnt on this festival as it symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. After Rama defeated Ravana, he headed back to Ayodha with his family and the day he reached there, they were welcome by the people by lighting thousands of lamps.

Dussehra is celebrated with a lot of excitement in the sub city. One of the main attractions of the celebration of this festival is the Ramleela performances. Starting a few days before Dusseh-ra and ending on Vijayadashami, the performances in Dwarka are a must watch. Says Mukesh Sin-ha, “There’s nothing quite like watching a Ramleela performance in Dwarka. Needless to say, the grand finale of the celebrations will be effigies going up in flames. And this year the effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad will each be the tallest so far”. This tradition that began years ago, continues to this date and has already come alive with Ramleela groups rehearsing months in advance. Adds Sudha Sinha, “We strive, each year, at creating a grand and special spectacle for the audiences every time they perform. This year, they are expected to put up another brilliant show. I would like to highlight that this year the stage will be a grand one.
There will be entertainment galore. The organisers will ensure that the audiences have ample opportunity to enjoy themselves, shop and enjoy food delicacies to their hearts content. A wide array of stalls selling handicrafts, household items, delicious food and snacks from across India have been planned. Elaborates Mukesh Sinha, “Like each year in the past, we have literally hundreds of stalls selling a variety of products from bed sheets, textiles, ladies clothes, handicrafts, handloom items etc. apart from the food stalls. The speciality of these stalls is that they will be selling delica-cies and food items typical to a particular state or region.

Bhoomi poojan of Ramleela mahotsav held:
The preparations for organising yet another grand Dusshera this year has started. The bhoo-mi poojan and havan for the 21st Dwarka Ramleela Mahotsav was held with religious fervour by the Asso-ciation of Social and Cultural Events to formally launch the activities that will culminate in the grand celebrations. The ceremony was performed at the Sector 11 Dusshehra ground with great pomp, celebration and religious solemnity. This was attended by many well-wishers and members of the Dwarka Ramleela mahotsav organising committee. Adds Mukesh Sinha, “We are all set and excited to hold the most vibrant Ramleela of the city. We have been started working hard in right earnest more than one month prior to the event and we hope that this time too the audience will appreciate our efforts by visiting Ramlila everyday. We are once again geared up to create a grand and special spectacle for the audi-ences”. At the function, the Ramleela artistes presented a preview and trailer of the programmes that would be presented at the Dussehra festival. All got a glimpse of what excitement is in store. 

Dandiya – the heart beat of the sub city
When it comes to Dandiya, no one can beat the festive euphoria of Dandiya night at Sector-11. As a precursor of Ramleela celebrations, Dandiya night is a much waited event in the sub city. The organisers are keen to make this year’s celebrations more spectacular than the last. The dandiya craze has grown bigger over the years. Dandiya Raas is an aesthetic concept related to emotions and feelings. Dandiya Night is a celebration of dance during Navratri, a Hindu festival to honor the divine feminine that spans nine nights and ten days each year. Now, people want to perfect the styles of dandiya. Residents of all ages are excitedly looking forward to the dandiya at Sector-11 this year. The grand Dandiya festival will be celebrated on 13th October at Dussehra Ground, Sector-11. It is always a wonderful and enjoyable experience. Says Vidya, “It is such a lively atmosphere. There is joy and fun everywhere”. While dancing well is important, looking great is perhaps an even bigger deal as Dwarkaites spend weeks, or even months, planning their Navaratra outfits. Brightly coloured ghagras with choli is the preferred dress for dandiya. The traditional outfit for garba is made out of bandhani, and is either embroidered or heavily replenished with mirror work. The demand for such festive wear is high, and people have specific preferences regarding their dresses. Even men dress up for dandiya. However, they prefer to wear kurta-pyjamas and pair the outfit with a bright dupatta. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your Dandiya sticks and get started. Or even join some quick learning classes to put the right foot forward!


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