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Dussehra with a difference

Spanning over 75 days,Bastar Dusshera is a unique festival of Bastar DistrictChhattisgarh. All across the country Dussehra is associated with Ramayana and victory of Lord Rama over Raavana. Bastar Dussehra is quite different and celebrated in honour of Sri Danteshwari Mai. The main celebrations take place at Danteshwari TempleJagdalpur where inhabitants of Bastar are involved in special worship ceremonies.

It is believed  that the festival of Dussehra was initiated by Maharaja Purushottam Deo in the early 15th century. Since then it became customary for all the tribes of Bastar to participate in this holy festival. During the entire ten days of the occasion, the respected Raj family of Bastar is involved in arranging worship sessions in which the ancient arms of the Goddess Danteswari are treated as divine elements.

One of the inherent traits of Bastar Dussehra is that the control of the state is formally transferred to the Diwan keeping the Zamindar and similar important personalities as witnesses. Kunwar Amavasya is the first day of Dussehra. On the night of the first day the customary transfer of control takes place. A mystique characteristics of this ceremony is that before handing over the power to the Diwan, a girl who is believed to have possessed the spiritual powers is asked for permission. This girl is seen with a wooden sword and stands in a war-like posture. The second day of dussehra is called Pratipada which is followed by aarti and salami. On the ninth day, the Raja of Bastar welcomes goddess Danteswari who comes to the entrance of the city in a doli or palanquin. The tenth day of the festival is called dussehra when the Raja organizes a darbar where people come and present their requests. Also aarti ceremony is held on the last day of Dussehra. (source: Wikipedia )

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A  doli or palanquin for Goddess Danteshwari


Giving final touches to the Doli


The Journey to Danteshwari Temple,Jagdalpur


The Journey to Danteshwari Temple,Jagdalpur


The Journey to Danteshwari Temple,Jagdalpur


Getting into Trance


The trance


The Trance


Royal family welcoming Goddess Danteshwari on the 9th day of the festival


Royal family visiting Sri Mavli Temple for aarti ceremony on the 10th day

(Devi Mavli Bastar’s native deity, revered as the “elder sister” of Devi Danteshwari)


The chariot being pulled to bring to Sri Danteshwari Temple


The chariot being pulled to bring to Sri Danteshwari Temple


The chariot being pulled to bring to Sri Danteshwari Temple


Tribals from Bastar performing the traditional dances


Tribals from Bastar performing the traditional dances

During the festival,Jagdalpur is turned into a festive town. The tribals wear best of the attire & jewellery and spend days here to enjoy the festivities.





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