Jodhpur: During the Indian festival of Dussehra, when people rejoice by burning effigies of Ravan, a few will mourn the day and offer special prayers to the demon king, hailing him as a ‘revered and scholarly soul’.
“After the effigy is completely burnt, we all take bath in our respective homes, dress ourselves in washed clothes, assemble in the temple and offer flowers and sweets to him,” says a priest at the temple of Ravan in Jodhpur.
Members of the Dave Godha clan claim they are descendants of the demon king and pay obeisance to him at the temple they have specifically constructed for him.
“He was praised by all the sages and Gods as a glorious king of his times,” says the priest. As the legend goes, Ravan was married to Mandodari, daughter of King of Mandawar, known as Mandor now, 11 km from the city and situated on the bank of mythological river Saraswati.”
According to the priest, some relatives of Ravana stayed back after the wedding.
“They always considered him a sublime, benevolent and mighty soul and revered him. This practice continued here with their stay,” he said, adding a temple was constructed in 2008 with Ravan as deity.