Evil goes up in flames as merriment marks Dussehra festivities

Amid beating of drums, devotees, dancing frenziedly, also bid farewell to Goddess Durga as she returned to her celestial abode.

As the skies darkened, the fire crackers-stuffed effigies, dotting grounds and open spaces in villages and towns, went up in flames amid defeaning sound.

Fire crackers lit up the skies and crowds burst into cheers as the effigies went up in flames on 'Vijayadashmi', marking the slaying of demon king Ravana by Lord Rama.

Dussehra, which also marks the end of scorching summer and heralding of winter, is preceded by nine auspicious days of Navaratri during which devotees pray, fast and feast.
Ramlilas, vivid enactments from the life of Lord Rama, were staged in large parts of the country during the nine days preceding the festival.

In the national capital, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were among a large number of dignitaries who watched the evil going up in smoke at the Ramlila Maidan.

Hundreds of idols of Goddess Durga, which had adorned the marquees, were immersed in holy rivers by devotees marking the culmination of the festivities.

A number of fairs were also held on the occasion of Dussehra which also symbolises the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over buffalo demon Mahishasura.

The President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister and a host of leaders had greeted the people on the joyous occasion hoping the festival would strengthen the spirit of harmony and oneness and usher in goodwill and tolerance.

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