New Delhi: India is a land of varied cultures and traditions existing peacefully under the strong thread of bonhomie and shared values. There are various mythologies of our rich heritage and culture. There are many festivals celebrating humanity and solidarity.
Just when Dussehra or Vijayadashami is knocking at the door, we thought of sharing an unusual and less heard of a place where Ravana is hailed as the tragic hero and Lord Rama is not worshipped.
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. But in a village named Bisrakh in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh Ravana is the hero and not Lord Rama.
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—Ravana.
They mourn Ravana's death on these two festivals while the rest of 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's 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.