Mythology has varied interpretations and tends to tell a lot about one's rich culture and heritage. Our land is blessed with several mythological tales and folklores weaving the traditional threads together and forming a solid base in shaping our religion. And what better than talking about Lord Rama and Ravana as the festival of Dussehra is here.
While we all know this by heart that Dussehra is celebrated as the victory of good over evil and how Ravana was killed by the virtuous Rama, in some parts of the world the former is hailed and considered supreme.
Yes, it might come as a surprise to many but even in India, there are places where Ravana is hailed as the tragic hero and revered. A village named Bisrakh in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh is one such place.
It is believed that Ravana was born here and later he went on rule the golden city—Sri Lanka. The people of Bisrakh idolise Ravana and mourn our country's two biggest festivals—Dussehra and Diwali as a mark to pay respects to the Maha Brahmin.
They mourn Ravana's death on these two festivals while the rest of the India burns the ten-headed Brahmin's effigy along with Meghnath (his son) and Kumbhkaran (his younger brother).
According to local legend, Ravana was born to Vishrava and Kaikesi. He was the grandson of Pulastya. It is believed that Bisrakh derived its name from Vishravas, Ravana's father, who worshipped Lord Shiva. He even spent his childhood in the village.
The legend has it that Vishravas once found a linga in the forest and established the Bisrakh Dhaam, also known as an abode of God.
Vishravas, a Brahmin was married to Kaikesi a rakshasa princess. Vishravas' elder son by the first wife was Kubera, better known as the god of wealth, who ruled Lanka until Ravana became the king.
Interestingly, as per local belief, fire sacrifices or call it yajnas as you may please, are held during the festival of Navratri, praying to Lord Shiva's linga form as a homage to Ravana.