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"Vijayadashami", "Mysore Dasara", "Durga Pooja"

Vijayadashami  also known as Dasara (also written Dussehra), is a festival celebrated in varying forms across Nepal and India. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu autumn month of Ashvin or Ashwayuja, and is the grand culmination of the 10-day annual Navaratri ('nine nights') festival.


This is among the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar and comes as the finale of the nine-day festival, Navaraatri. This festival of victory is preceded by worship of Saraswati the Goddess of Learning and of Durgaa the Goddess of Strength. Grand processions of all Gods and goddesses are taken out in every town and village on this day, signifying the victory of the forces of righteousness over those of wickedness. Various have been the names of the Goddess of Strength - Durgaa, Mahaa Kaali, Mahishasura Mardini etc., under which that supreme protectress of the good and the holy put to rout, time and again, the demoniac forces and established the supremacy of the righteous.
The story of how Mahishaasura Mardini took birth is striking for its unique message. At one stage the Gods felt powerless against the onslaughts of the demoniac forces headed by Mahishaasura. In answer to their prayers for protection, they were ordered to part with a portion of their divine powers to form into a new Goddess. It was thus that Mahishaasura Mardini took on a physical form as the combined might of 33 crores of Gods. The dreaded demon Mahishaasura was slain by Chaamundeshwari after a ceaseless fight of nine days and nights  

The Hindu kings and chieftains in the medieval period like Vijayanagar kings and Maratha Peshwas continued this tradition of worshipping the Shami tree and marching in royal procession. Many a time they would sally forth against their foes - Seemollanghana - on this day. Even to this day, amidst the heartrending ruins of Hampi in Karnataka - the site of the once worldfamed Vijayanagar stands the Vijaya Dashami pedestal on which Krishna Devaraya, the celebrated monarch, used to stand and receive the salute of his half-a-million strong army

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