Mountain Walking

Happy Dussehra at Boileauganj, Shimla

1-10-2017, Boileauganj, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh:

What a fantastic time everyone had yesterday evening! It was Vijaya Dashami (Dussehra), and hundreds of people had gathered at the Boileauganj Ground for celebrations. Three effigies had been erected at the Ground depicting the demon-king, Ravaṇa, flanked by his brother Kumbhkaran and son Meghnath (also called Indrajeet).

Earlier, in the day, this Shimla suburb had witnessed a procession of young lads dressed as Ram, Laxman, Sita, Hanuman, Lord Shiva and the Vaanar Sena, many of them dancing along to the beats of the ḍhol – the procession went around the locality for demonstrations. All of them were dressed in beautiful fineries, and were showcased in different vehicles as the procession went about the market slowly. The procession reached the venue just after sunset and the celebrations began with crackers being fired – the setting was even more perfect with half a moon up in the sky. A boundary was marked beforehand; Sky shots were being fired all round the city (including Boileauganj) as the festivities continued in different parts of Shimla town (visible in the background).

The show lasted for about 45 minutes, after which the three effigies were set on fire. In a matter of seconds the effigies were reduced to ashes with the crackers in them exploding, overpowering the sound of the crowd cheering as the fire engulfed the 60-feet high effigies entirely, depicting the victory of good over evil.

After the effigies were reduced to ashes, the people dispersed, heading for the market to buy sweets and to greet others, before heading back to continue the Dussehra festivities with the families and neighbours.

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‘Jai Shri Ram!’ The procession making its way through Boileauganj Bazaar to the festival venue; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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Young lads dressed up as Ram, Laxman and Shabri for Dusshera at Boileauganj, Shimla; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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The sky lit up by a beautiful “Sky-Shot” cracker explosion; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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The effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath all set for their demise at the Boileauganj ground in Shimla; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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The remains of the effigies as the festival concludes with the moon in the sky; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal

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