The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 11 , 2016

Bigger Ravan for cracker of spectacle

Jamshedpur, Oct. 10: As the Durga Puja revelries draw towards the climax - Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami - the steel city gears up once again for the annual spectacle of Ravan Dahan.

Ram Mandir Ravan Dahan Samiti in Sonari is going all out to fulfil its promise of a grand bonfire that will be lit tomorrow on the occasion of Dussehra to mark the victory of good over evil.

Craftsmen give final touches to the Ravan’s effigy at Ram Mandir grounds in Sonari on Monday. (Bhola Prasad)

The event is expected to draw thousands of devotees, who will throng the grounds to witness the annual ritual - the burning of an effigy of demon king Ravan. Though there are several other organisations that come up with similar shows, none can match the cracker of spectacle at the Ram Mandir grounds, the oldest and the most dazzling fireworks in the city.

Local craftsman Prem Kumar, who along with two others is engaged in making the Ravana's effigy from wood, hay and thermocol, said this year's Ravan would be bigger than that in 2015. "Ravan will be 60ft tall this time as compared to last year's 55ft. Our three-member team has been working day and night to ensure that the demon king is ready by tomorrow," Kumar added.

A member of the samiti said the fireworks would continue for about 45 minutes. Apart from this, a series of rituals will be performed before the burning of the effigy around 7pm. "We are expecting a turnout of over 50,000 people this year," said Narottam Das, president of the samiti. The budget for this year's nearly two-hour-long event is around Rs 2 lakh. Firecrackers alone will cost Rs 70,000.

Senior JMM leader and Seraikela legislator Champai Soren will be the chief guest on the occasion and will set fire to Ravan.

Since its inception in 1958, Ravan Dahan has been an annual feature at the Ram Mandir grounds. "Ravan Dahan is our tradition. In the last five-six decades, committees organising the event have changed but the old world charm of the spectacle hasn't," Das said.

"The steel city hosts another Ravan Dahan at Bagunhathu but the one held in Sonari is the best. I never miss this grand annual event that marks the culmination of the 10-day festivities," said Dinesh Singh, a resident of Sonari.

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