**Bhubaneswar:** Effigies of demon king Ravan were burnt across the Country to symbolise the victory of good over evil on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra.
Being a derivative from Sanskrit, ‘Dussehra’ or ‘Dasha-hara’ is demon king Ravan’s defeat.
As per the Hindu epic “Ramayana”, Lord Rama (the seventh avatar of God Vishnu) killed
Ravan, who had abducted Devi Sita to his kingdom Lanka. Ram, his younger sibling Laxman, their disciple Hanuman led an army of monkeys and fought a battle to rescue Sita on the day of ‘Ashwin Shukla Dashami’, also termed as ‘Vijayadashami’.
The term ‘Vijayadashami’ is derived from Sanskrit that means victory on the ‘Dashami’: the tenth day of the Hindu almanac.
The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the dreadful demon Mahishasura. The Goddess fought against the reign of terror unleashed by Mahishasura for ten days and nine nights.
‘Vijayadashami’ is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of ‘Ashwin’ that falls in September or October of the Western calendar.
It is the grand finale of the 10-day annual ‘Navaratri’ (nine nights) festival.
Dussehra celebrations come to a fiery end on the ‘Vijayadashami’ day with Ravan Podi as a life size effigy of Ravan is set ablaze.
Across the State as well as the nation, including neighbouring Nepal, the ‘Ravan Podi’/‘Ravan Dahan’ is marked by spectacular fireworks amid the cheers of mammoth crowds.