Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh.
The annual mela or festival takes place in the Kullu Valley
known as the Valley of the Living Gods, in North India. The festival
celebrates the triumph of the God Ram
over evil. The Rath Yatra
of the idol of Lord Ragunath
is led by the Kullu Raja and village
deities, and is known as the running of the Gods. The procession starts a
week of religious ceremonies, cultural activities, socializing and shopping
at the huge bazaar, or market, that comprises most of the mela ground.
Dussehra at Kullu
commences on the tenth day of the rising moon,
i.e. on 'Vijay Dashmi' day itself and continues in seven days. The birth of
Dussehra in Kullu lay in royal fads and it nourished on religious, social
and economic factors and ultimately came to be well established, because of
the inborn love of the hill-men for fun, frolic, displayed in community
singing and dancing. Numerous stalls offer a verity of local wares. This is
also the time when the International Folk Festival is celebrated.