Dussehra marks the end of the Navratri festival and it is a day that celebrates the victory of good (Ram) over evil (Ravana). On the day of Dussehra, effigies of the demon king of Lanka, Ravana is burnt at various places in India as he abducted Devi Sita and that’s what led to his downfall. People know Ravana as an evil character but not everyone thinks so. For a few, he was the most learned Pandit ever and his 10 heads are a representation of his knowledge in six Shastras and four Vedas. There are various other reasons why Ravana is worshipped as a deity in some places in India and not burnt on Dussehra. Here’s a list of such places. Also Read - Video of Ravana Riding On An Ambulance Before Dussehra Goes Viral, Leaves Netizens Amazed
Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh
According to Ramayana, Ravana was the son-in-law of Mandasur as it was his wife Mandodri’s paternal home. That’s is why people in Mandasur worship Ravana for his knowledge and devotion to Lord Shiva. The place has a 35-foot tall statue of Ravana and the people of Mandasur hold prayers to mourns his death on Dussehra. Also Read - Dussehra 2020: How Will Ravan Effigy Burn This Year? Here are Guidelines from Uttarakhand Govt
Bisrakh, Uttar Pradesh
The name ‘Bisrakh’ is derived from the name of Ravana’s father, Rishi Vishrava. Also, Bisarakh is the birthplace of Ravana. That is why people in this region worship him. He is considered a Maha-Brahman here. Notably, Rishi Vishrava once discovered a Shiva Linga in Bisarak and since then the people of this region started worshipping it as an honour to Rishi Vishrava and the demon king Ravana. During Navratri, you will witness people of Bisrakh performing Yagnas and peace prayers for Ravana’s departed soul. Also Read - Dussehra 2020: Date, Puja Mahurat, History, Significance And How to Celebrate
The tribals of Gadchiroli consider Ravana and his son, Gods. They offer prayers to them especially during the tribal festival, Falgun. According to the Gond Tribals, Maharshi Valmiki had mentioned in the Ramayana that Ravana did not do anything wrong. It was only Tulsidas who portrayed him as evil. So, The people in Gadchiroli believe that Ravana was a great soul who must be worshipped.
The Mudgil Brahmins of Jodhpur are the descendants of Ravana and that is why they perform Shraddh and Pind Daan for him instead of burning Ravana’s effigies. As per legends, Ravana got married to Mandodari in Mandore, the birthplace of Ravana’s wife. That’s when the Maudgil Brahmans came to Jodhpur from Lanka.
Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
People in Kangra consider Ravana, a great devotee of Lord Shiva as legends believe that it was Kangra where Ravana appeased Lord Shiva with his austerity and devotion and after which Lord Shiva offered him his blessings. That is why you won’t see Ravana Dahan in Kangra.
Mandya and Kolar, Karnataka
Ravana’s devotion to Lord Shiva is praised by the people of Mandya and Kolar in Karnataka. Locals in the Kolar district worship Ravana during the harvest festival. They keep the idol of Dashanan along with Lord Shiva and offer prayers. On the other hand, people in Mandya visit Ravana’s temple and honour his devotion for Lord Shiva.