Skip to main content

Delhi, Dussehra and Diwali

The festival of Dussehra is celebrated in India as the victory of good over evil. And to celebrate, we relive the moment of an evening with the victory of Rama over Ravana. Several huge effigies of the latter are erected in the city center of Delhi, where a dense crowd converges to attend the show.

I went there with my colleague. At first we wanted to enter the main site of the event to see what was announced as a huge bonfire. But once in the queue that ran on two or three kilometers, we saw off a stampede and jitteriness. There seemed to be a lot of spectators, who are a little too eager to enter.

Not wanting to be taken especially in the midst of a dense crowd of several thousand cheering people, we preferred to watch the show from a little distance. It must be said that some policemen standing guard did not give the impression that they could hold such a large gathering.

It was then that the explosions were heard. One after another, the effigies were set ablaze as hundreds of firecrackers were burnt. The deafening noise, the agitated crowd, the air difficult to breathe, but no matter, the good had triumphed over evil and Ravana was vanquished amidst ash and smoke.

We continued our evening as we walked in Old Delhi, threading our way through the stalls of the market near the Jama Mosque Masjid. We finally ended up in the neighborhood of Chandni Chowk, before the smoking and greasy paranthas with onion, cheese, paneer and potatoes, a specialty of the area for over a century.

A few weeks later, in November, it was the turn of the highly anticipated Diwali festival which some consider the equivalent of Christmas. During the weeks before the holiday, shops trumpet their special Diwali wares with a lot of photos showing all consumer products from Electronic toys, household goods, fancy clothes, everything goes.

It is customary to exchange gifts during this holiday. Formerly, tradition dictated that dry fruits, a rather expensive food were given as a gift to friends and relatives. But in recent years, chocolate is in vogue.

Diwali is the festival of light, when small candles are light up at the entrance of the houses and backyards. There are also so-called Quebec Christmas lights that decorate the houses. Several houses in my neighborhood competed with each other and splurged to illuminate the facade with white lights. This aspect of the festival, which sometimes invites meditation, however slice with another ritual of the firecrackers.

And there you have to imagine that people do burst fireworks of all sizes from their home, and this, throughout the city of Delhi, and in virtually all of India, because it is truly a celebration that transcends regional differences. For the cultural experience I had myself lighting a rocket.

After this trip into the dark mazes of crowded and dusty Delhi, we stepped into the air-conditioned subway, which is spotless and odorless in the capital, a sign that the epic Rama was good thing of the past.


Desiree said…
Your traditional festivals are truly sensational. Such colourful and joyous occasions. It must be quite something to participate in the ceremonies. Thank you for making us aware of them.
anthony stemke said…
Very happy to read this post, it was quite interesting. Enjoyed the photography, that palace is grand.
Thank You.

Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep
Trouble on Earth Day
Author Kathy Stemke (my spouse)
Chelsea said…
Oh my goodness, what beautiful photos! I love the way you captured the traditions so perfectly.
Anisha said…
Beautifully, captured (in Words and Pictures both) essence of Navratri all around India!
Buttons said…
Outstanding photos of which I can only imagine in my mind a wonderful event. I can almost feel like I am there. Thank you for that. B
Krishna said…
nice photo gallery
T. Becque said…
Lovely all together like this.
Oneika said…
Lovely photos. What a great time to be in India! In Hong Kong, where I lived for two years, they also have a mid-autumn lunar festival.
kalaiselvisblog said…
nice snaps & very well explained.. Thanks 4 making us 2 know in deep...
Kala said…
So many festive images with great commentary. Thanks for sharing.
Vidya Sury said…
Your photos are outstanding and your blog is gorgeous.

Thanks for coming by mine.

I am going to visit you often.:-)
Asha said…
colorful capture of our culture, simply awesome!
artnavy said…
Thanks for visiting and for the comment- lovely snaps here
Natalie said…
Beautiful pictures!
Beautifully put together pics. A real taste of India. Well done!
Kungsfiskaren said…
Absolutely stunning serie. great work.
Greetings from Sweden
sheila said…
Oooooooooo beautiful, beautiful, gorgeous! Glad you shared this!
ladyfi said…
A glorious mosaic!
kankana said…
This is making me miss home! :(
Aakriti said… ur blog to the core:)...!! and so m here,. pictures speak a thousand words, that which the lips cannot say:)....Roshogulla, Goddess Durga, firecrackers, dia, pooja, colors...u say it all so spledidly with ur pictures Kalyan!! Ah! I can die them seeing;)
Erika said…
I like very much your collage.Have a nice day!
Radhika said…
First time to your space and was really impressed by the snaps. Truly spectacular. Keep up this good work.

Check out my 200th post Giveaway

Event: Let’s Cook : Hibernative Foods
Deepti said…
lovely clicks...Truly nostalgic
Jay said…
lovely collection of pics..nice presentation dear..:)
Tasty Appetite
Parsley Sage said…
Fabulous photos! Thanks for sharing this beautiful festival with us that may not have otherwise seen it :)
Don't know from where I landed in your space. But I am glad I did. I really miss home during this Navartri time and your pictures made my day. Kudos to you for capturing these fantastic pictures.
Arti said…
Beautiful beautiful post... Lovely pics giving a very clear picture of the Navratri festival...
Loved them all, so colorful and so exuberent.
Emily Malloy said…
Gorgeous photos! Wow!
Max Coutinho said…

You must be having a party, man! I reiterate my wishes for great festivities :D.

The photos are superb and invite us to joy and love!
Thank you for sharing this with us.

Hi Kalyan,

You take really beautiful pictures yourself :)

Have a great week my friend!
Jeevan said…
Beautiful post with colorful pictures! We had our ayudha puja celebration at my uncle's workshop today and at home for vehicles and various things. First time my grandmother had arranged a golu and took part in the fast.

I checked your other posting on the festival season and tradition are excellent and gives a festival feel of celebration. My festival greeting for you kalyan. Have wonderful times with family and friends.
Margaret said…
Wow I adore all the colors! My favorite is the very first one... I love how her face is framed by the white.
first of all thanks for visiting my Blog.
I don't understand how could I have missed your blog for so long, now that I have found it out will be a regular here : )
Hello Kaylan and many thanks for visiting me over at Pen and Paper. Nice to have met you, I've enjoyed my visit to your blog - a great post, I very much liked your pictures of this festival.

Popular posts from this blog

Egg Curry Recipe

Egg curry in India is known as Anda Curry that is a very simple recipe and is very popular with children. Perfect for lovers of hardboiled eggs, the spicy curry enhances the flavor. In this dish, the hard-boiled eggs are stir fried and then added to a sauce. It is served over steamed rice in India. Eggs can be added to any type of sauce you like. In this instructable I have shown how to make it with peas and tomato sauce.

This week I propose a curry eggs, a dish I wanted to replicate for some time after I had tasted the homemade version prepared by a friend. When I announced that dinner was planned with a curry of eggs it unexpectedly cause generalized reactions of astonishment. And so I realized that it has taken for granted that everyone to know that there are several varieties of curry, not only as regards the main ingredient, but also for the combination of spices and flavor to be obtained. So I decided to make a brief discussion on the curry to have some clarity on the subject.

An Italian Meal with my friend at Da Mauro

As I walked down the street, distracted by my thoughts and my memories, the smell from a nearby pizza shop invaded my senses and immediately my mind was transported to a recent visit to an expat friend's house. My friend, John lives in Central Park Resorts at the heart of Gurgaon. I'm not a huge fan of Gurgaon given the dusty roads, pollution, bad traffic and civic sense, but Central Park Resorts is another world in itself - an ample green environment with the usual facilities like amphitheatre, gym, spa, kids play area etc. But two things really caught my eye - the town-ship is automobile free and golf buggies are used to commute on surface. That sounds downright futuristic and something only the millionaires could afford, right? But there it was, right in front of my eyes in Gurgaon! Well, the future is really here I guess.

But what really got to me is the second thing - something situated inside the Central Park Resorts township. Read on:

As John and I planned to discuss t…

Mysore Pak Recipe

The Mysore Pak is an Indian dessert originating in the state of Karnataka in southern India, but it is widely consumed throughout peninsular India and especially Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. There are 2 ways to prepare it, soft or more solid, with generous amounts of melted butter or ghee, chickpea flour and sugar. Of course people prepare these delicacies especially for the feast of Diwali, the festival of lights.

The mysore pak was originally known as masoor pak, and was made with masoor dal flour. The exact origin of the recipe is unknown, although some claim that it was created in or near the Mysore Palace by a cook raised in the Kakasura Madappa. Its history dates back to, probably sometime in the 17th or 18th century Mysore, where during the reign of King Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, the recipe was invented in the kitchens of the palace by the chef Kakasura Madappa. Having no idea for his creation, Madappa decided to call the recipe Mysore Pak, which means in Sanskrit and…