Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manji and around five lakh people watched as an arrow burst into flames the 60 ft tall effigy of Ravan erected at the Gandhi Maidan here this evening on the occasion of Dusshera.
The famous 'Ravan Vadh' ceremony of the state capital was enacted in the presence of Manjhi. He arrived on time and inaugurated the function by releasing bunches of colourful balloons.
Just before the slaying of Ravan, the mammoth crowd witnessed the burning of 55-feet tall effigy of his brother Kumbhkaran and 50 feet high Meghnad, his son.
The Ramayana scene of 'Lanka Dahan' or torching of the mythical City of Lanka by Lord Hanuman was also enacted on the occasion. Hanuman moved on a crane converted and decorated to resemble a mountain so that people could see him moving.
This year the effigies of the demons were styled in Rajasthani dresses, bright colours and make-up, and a team of seven artists led by Mohammad Zafar, Mohammad Golden and Mohammad Abbas from Gaya designed it as usual. The celebrations were organised by Shree Dushehra Committee Trust (SDCT), which has been doing it for the last 59 years.
"Our Ravan Vadh ceremony is an example of communal harmony in our society. It shows that the common people and workers are least bothered by religious divisions. Here the Muslim artists make effigies happily and the masses lap it up on the occasion," said SDCT secretary Arun Kumar.
Extensive and colourful fireworks were launched after the Ravan Vadh and the entire Gandhi Maidan bathed in bright yellow and crimson light.
The celebrations will be followed by the Ramayana episode of 'Bharat Milap', or the meeting of Lord Ram and his younger brother Bharat, at Kalidas Rangalaya theatre on October 5.