Dussehra is being celebrated across the country today with religious fervour. In most places the festival is celebrated by burning the effigy of demon King Ravana, but there are some places where Lankesh is worshipped as well on this occasion.
125-year-old Dashanan temple in Shivala area of Kanpur opens its doors for devotees annually on Dussehra. On the occasion, an idol of Ravana is decorated and an ‘aarti’ is conducted. Devotees light earthen lamps in front of the idol and perform religious rituals to celebrate the festival. It is believed that all the wishes are fulfilled by worshipping in this temple. The temple is closed following burning of effigy of Ravana at Ramlila ground in the evening.
Dashanan Temple was reportedly built in 1890 by king Guru Prasad Shukl. It is learnt that the motive behind construction of this temple was that Ravana was a learned scholar and biggest devotee of Lord Shiva. The demon king is worshipped at several other places in India as well. In Andhra Pradesh’s Kakinada, a huge shivalinga supposedly installed by Ravana is worshipped along with the demon-king. Madhya Pradesh’s Vidisha ‘Ravana’s wife Manodri belonged to this place) even has an entire village dedicated to Lankesh. The people here do not burn effigies, nor do they celebrate Dussehra. In fact people include ‘Lord Lankesh’ in their happy occasions as well and visit the temple on weddings and other important days.
Dussehra is regarded as the day when Lord Ram defeated Ravana and rescued his abducted wife Sita. The festival symbolises the victory of good over evil. Apart from Ravana, effigies of his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnath are also burnt on this occasion