One of the big festivals celebrated in most parts of India is Dussehra. The festival is celebrated with zest and festivities as it also marks the beginning of the winter season after the long, unbearable, hot summer. Dussehra marks the victory of Ram over the demon king Ravana, and the rescue of his wife Sita. In north India, gigantic effigies of the ten-headed Ravana and his brothers are set aflame amidst bursting of crackers. Fairs are usually held on this occasion with lots to eat, buy and enjoy.
Dussehra means the Tenth Day, being the 10th day of the bright half of Ashvin. This day is also known as Vijayadashmi, or the Victory Tenth, because of the victory of Ram over Ravana.
As Dussehra is preceded by the Navratri or the nine days of the worship of Goddess Durga, some rituals related to the Goddess are also carried out that day. The rituals of Durga Puja involve the usual puja of goddess Durga along with Lord Ram. On this day in Satyug, Ram (the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), killed the great demon and king of Lanka, Ravan, who had abducted Ram's wife Sita. Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman, follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle for ten days to rescue his wife Sita.
According to another story, Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, a Brahmin, was living in the city of Paithan. After studying under the guidance of Rishi Varatantu, he insisted on his guru accepting a present, or gurudakshina. Initially, the guru refused but later asked for 140 million gold coins, one hundred million for each of the subjects taught. The obedient student went to the King Raghu to ask for the money, as the king was renowned for his generosity. Within three days the king made the God of Wealth Kuber make a rain of gold coins near the shanu and apati trees. After giving the promised amount to the guru, Kautsa distributed the rest of the coins among the needy on the day of Dussehra. Even today, in Ayodhya, the capital of King Raghu, people loot the leaves of the apati trees and present to each other as sone or gold.
In Kota, Dussehra is celebrated with great enthusiasm and it is famous for its grand DussehraMela (fair). This DussehraMela is the identity of Kota city in which thousands of shops, sellers, and vendors gather. On Vijayadashmi, an effigy of Ravana which happens to be 72 feet tall, use to aflame with his son and brother Meghnad and Kumbhkarna. This is one of the tallest effigies in India. Later on, a fair of 20 days happens in the largest ground of city Kota till DhanTeras. This Dussehra ground is situated in the centre of the city.
At the RavanDahan day, over 1 lac people gathered to experience the celebration of the triumph of the good over evil. Before that a procession on horses, camels, sawaris move towards the RavanDahan place and royal family worship there, after that, an arrow is shot towards navel of Ravana by the person portraying Ram in procession. It is said, that after Mysore Dussehra, Kota Dussehra is largely celebrated and praised.
Chambal Adventure Festival (9-11 Feb) – This three days festival is organized in Kota where tourists can enjoy water & water sports.It is organized by UIT. Kota is blessed with ample of water resources which make it an obvious choice for water festivals. This festival happens at two places, in Chambal River and Kishore SagarTalab, situated middle of the city. Kishore SagarTalab is the acme of beautiful panorama in the heart of the city. During Chambal Adventure Festivaldifferent adventures like hot air balloon, paragliding, parasailing, wind surfing, water sports like balloon water, kayaking, jet skiing and rafting, use to perform by professionals. Other than these adventure sports gliding, rock climbing, angling, excursion and trekkingcan be enjoyed during the festival. Some adventure opens for the common people to enjoy these amusements.
Gangaur Festival (March- April) – This Festival is dedicated to Goddess Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva and the symbol of marital happiness. It is the most important festival of Rajasthan which maidens and married women celebrate with great gusto and enthusiasm. It begins on the day after Holi and is celebrated for eighteen days. Maidens collect poppy flowers from the fields and make garlands for the Goddess.
AnnantChaturdashiMahotsav:AnanatChaturdashiMahotsav is celebrated in Kota on a very large scale. This is one of the oldest celebrations of the city. AnantChaturdashi is celebrated after ten days of Ganesh Chaturthi. On Ganesh Chaturthi, clay Idols of Lord Ganeshais installed at different places of the city like homes, markets, and public pandals. Huge clay idols have been installed by trade unions, different organizations, and temples in their beautifully decorated pandals. At 10th day, a gigantic procession with thousands of Ganesh idols, Akhade, BhajanMandlis, daredevil acts, horse and camel sawarsmove ahead in a systematic manner from the old predefined path in the city. It allures lacs of spectators and devotees. At night these idols are immersed in water. In Kota city, AnantChaturdashiin Kota is celebrated with more zeal than any other city of Rajasthan. It is same joyous and grandly celebrated as in Maharashtra which is famous for Ganesh Utsav.