A few years back, I celebrated Dussehra (a hindu festival celebrated in the Northern Indian states, that marks the victory of good over evil) in the most special manner. I was lucky to be invited by the Chhattisgarh government for one week of festivities in the district of Bastar. This immersion into the tribal culture has for sure changed my vision of rural India forever. Through a collection of pictures, I take you through a special puja (prayer) organised in one of the tribal village of Bastar district, where the festivities spans over 75 days starting in the month of August and ending in October.
The 600-year old festival involves the participation of diverse tribes that compose almost 80% of the population of the state. The festival involves very specific rituals as it is deeply influenced by the local myths and religious beliefs of the tribals. The king of Bastar, an educated young man, that I had the pleasure to meet at his palace, plays a very important role in the festivities and bears a lot of responsibilities. Considered as a “living god” by the tribals he performs different rituals in the villages of Bastar.
Read the full article in India & You magazine