The Making of Ravana Effigies

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Gallery Image #1

Ajay Rawat

This photo gallery by Ajay Rawat depicts how effigies of the Demon King Ravana are made before the Hindu festival of Dusshera.

Dusshera, the tenth and last day of the worship of the Mother Goddess Durga is also known as "Vijayadashmi," which literally means the "Victorious Tenth Day." 

In this photo from a  Dusshera celebration in Delhi, a cane and bamboo structure forms the skeleton of the effigy of Ravana, the demon king of the Hindu epic Ramayana. 

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Gallery Image #2

Dehli Craftsman
Ajay Rawat

Here, we again see Delhi craftsmen by the roadside working to create the bamboo wire frames which form the base of the effigy of Ravana.  The effigy will be ceremonially burned on the occasion of Dusshera.

The festival occurs the day after Navaratri, the "Nine Divine Nights."  

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Gallery Image #3

effigy of ravana
Ajay Rawat

Cloth or paper is glued over the bamboo wireframe to create the skin of the effigy of Ravana.

The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and marks the defeat and death of the demon king Ravana in the epic Ramayana

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Gallery Image #4

demon king
Ajay Rawat

The paper and cloth skin is painted to give color to the effigy of Ravana, the demon king. During the festival, these huge effigies of Ravana will burned amidst the bangs and booms of firecrackers. 

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Gallery Image #5

huge effigy face
Ajay Rawat

The huge faces are further decorated with paint and metallic paper to create the facial features of Ravana, the demon king of the Hindu epic Ramayana. Symbolically, this festival represents the annihilation of all things evil around and within us.

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Ajay Rawat

The many heads of Ravana are now almost ready to be placed on the tall  body of the effigy which is filled with gun powder and explosives and set ablaze in a spectacular show called “Ravan-Badh” or the “Killing of Ravan."

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ten heads of revana
Ajay Rawat

The ten heads of Ravana now lie ready by the roadside to be picked up and placed on the tall tower-like body of the effigies, prior to the festival's principal event. 

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Gallery Image #8

Press Information Bureau of India

On Dusshera evening, people throng to see the burning of the effigy of the demon king Ravana, and two other mythical characters--Meghnadh and Kumbhkarna at the Ram Lila ground in old Delhi.