Anyone who is aware of Hinduism and Indian culture knows that Dussehra is an important indian/hindu festival. On this day victory of Lord Ram over King of Lanka Ravan is celebrated and it signifies the victory of good over bad. In every parts of the country effigies of Ravan is burnt on this auspicious day.
Who is Ravan
As per one of the most revered hindu scriptures Ramayan Ravan is a very powerful demon king of Lanka. He abducted Devi Sita forcefully and as a result got killed by Lord Ram. Though known as personification of evil Ravan was highly learned and staunch devotee of Lord Shiva.
Ravan worship in India
It is quite surprising to know that even though how Lord Ram is worshipped and Ravan is considered a demon and his effigies are burnt all over India to celebrate the victory of good over evil there are some places where he is revered and worshipped. Below is the list of few places in India where Ravan worshipped.
1. Mandsaur : Mandsaur is a town in Madhya Pradesh which is considered to be the birth place of queen Mandodari, wife of Ravan. In Indian culture a son-in-law is highly respected so despite everything he is worshipped here for his unparalleled knowledge and devotion to Lord Shiva. On Dussehra people here mourn his death and hold prayers fir him.
2. Bisrakh: Situated in Uttar Pradesh Bisrakh is considered as birth place of Ravan. Stories say that Ravan’s father Rishi Vishrava who was a revered Brahmin had found a Swayambhu Shivlinga here. Ravan is also considered a Mahabrahmin here and people hold Yagyas (yagnas) and prayers for his departed soul during Navratri.
3. Gadchiroli: Gond tribes of Gadchiroli Maharashtra consider Ravan and his son Meghnath as Gods and offer prayers to them during their festival phagun. According to them Ravan was not a demon as largely perceived and he was never demonized in Valmiki’s Ramayan. Sage Valmiki clearly mentioned that Ravan did not do anything wrong or malign Devi Sita It was tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas that described Ravan and cruel and devilish.
4. Kangra: People here consider Ravan as a great devotee of Lord Shiva. As per the legend Ravan appeased Lord Shiva with his devotion at this very place in Himachal Pradesh and was granted his boon.
5. Jodhpur: Maudgil Brahmand of this town in Rajasthan believe that their ancestors had come with Ravan during his marriage and settled here. Considering themselves as his descendants they perform Shraddh and Pinddan for him.
6. Mandya and Kolar: In these two districts of Karnataka devotion of Ravan towards Lord Shiva is highly praised. He is worshipped during the harvest festival. Moreover in these two districts its very common to find temples of Ravan who is worshipped for his unfathomable devotion for Lord Shiva.
Well this is the beauty of hinduism and Indian culture that they value the good aspects of an individual even though he may be the biggest villain of their mythology.