Vijayadashami (Dussehra) – The Saga

Vijayadashami (Dussehra) is celebrated every year in India, right after the end of Navratri festival. It is marked as the symbol of victory. The victory of good over evil. The victory of Ram over Ravana.

As the story goes, Ravana was the king of Lanka, who kidnapped Sita, wife of Ram, who was the Prince of Ayodhya. Ram and Sita were in exile for 13 years, along with Laxman. The king of Ayodhya, Dashrath had 3 wives, one of them Kaikeyee got worried about her son, Bharat’s future as king of Ayodhya, as Ram was the eldest of all. On Kaikeyee’s wish, Ram was forced to go to exile. That’s how Sita and Laxman followed him.

Ravana on revengeful request from his sister, Surpanaka, kidnaps Sita and takes her to his kingdom – Lanka. Thus starts the beginning of the War of Ramanaya. Ram with the help of Hanuman and other monkey army goes on a fight against the army of Ravana. There are lot of episodes in the story, however the end marks by Ram killing Ravana, after the suggestion from Vibhisan (Ravan’s brother).

The end of Ravan, consider to be an evil person by his act of kidnapping a woman and going against the norms of the society had to meet a fateful end.

To symbolize the end Ravan, every year in India, Vijayadashami is celebrated. ( The Victory on the 10th day, following the lunar calendar)

The celebration starts by creating the idol of Ravana with the waste products and left overs of the year. The idol is kept for public display in the center of the streets or play grounds. At night, the idol is burnt with crackers bursting, symbolizing that people will end evil thoughts in them and start a fresh life.

The beauty of India lies in the celebration of Festivals. Every year, I find new things about the celebrations and everytime I get mesmerized in the depth and diversity of Indian history. This year I get closer to my community and know the people around whom I grew up.

This post is a part of series inDiscovering the Cultural Significance of various rituals and festivals in India.

How to make Rava Laddu

Today we will see how to make Rava Laddu.

Ingredients for Rava Laddu :

  • Rava
  • Sugar
  • Ghee
  • Dry Coconut
  • Dry Fruits (Almond, Kaju, Anjeer)
  • Cardomom (Elaichi)
Grate Dry Coconut
Roast Rava in Ghee
Add Cardomom seeds once the rava is roasted to light brown
Prepare Sugar Solution in another bowl and heat until a consistent solution is formed.
Grind the grated coconut to fine
This will help in mixing the coconut powder in roasted rava well
Mix the coconut powder with rava
Mix the hot sugar syrup into the roasted rava. Its all about timing now. You have to be quick.
Mix the solution well until you get the consistency good enough to make laddu.
Use a plastic sheet or foil to make the laddu. It may burn your skin as the sugar syrup is directly taken off from the stove.
Make round laddu. Use some ghee in your palm if it helps.
Make many more and you have to be quick enough as the sugar syrup will start to harden the rava after which it will become difficult to shape the laddu.

We made this laddu for Navratri Celebrations. Please try yourself and let me know how it turned out at your end. Happy Festive Season.

Travelling around Surat, Gujarat

One of many Flyover Bridges in Surat underneath passes a BRTS route.

Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) Junction – Kharwar Nagar, Udhna

Flame of Life glowing bright as the Sun at Majuragate, Surat.

Beautifying the city at every corner, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC)

Top notch Cardio Specialists equipped with world class medical equipments Mahavir Heart Hospital, Ring Road, Surat
Beautifying the city by SMC at Athwagate, Surat
Ushering of vehicles on Gaurav Path, Surat.
Two layered Flyover Bridge under construction
A Jewellery Shopping Centre, glittering like a jewel in itself
Junction of Flyover Bridge at Gaurav Path, Surat

Every signal stop made beautiful

Ambica Nitekan, the glorious temple of Amba Mata
Lushing greenery and rushing water – Fountain of Water at Athwagate, Surat
A typical coco with icecream !
Masjid at Udhna Darwaza
God made Man and Man made God.

Travelling around the city of Textile Markets, Diamonds, Flyover Bridge and Jari, I see the new face of Surat City. One of the fastest growing cities of India, Surat has done exceptionally well in maintaining the beauty of city.

The Surat Festival at Vanita Vishram, Athwagate