*By Jaideep Sarin
Barara (Haryana), Oct 21:
Demon-king Ravana, with an imposing 20-storey height, towers over a village in Haryana’s Ambala district and is targeting to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 210-feet tall Ravana, the tallest one in the country and perhaps the world, erected in Barara village, 60 km from Chandigarh, is an attraction for people.
Dusshera falls on Thursday this year.
On Thursday, Ravana – which is almost as tall as a 20-storeyed building – will go up in flames to mark the victory of good over evil but it will make history for being the tallest one anywhere.
The effort for the tallest Ravana has been made by the Shri Ramleela Club in Barara village, located on the Ambala-Jagadhari highway, which is headed by local landowner Tejinder Chauhan.
“We erected the Ravana on Oct 16 itself this time. We had to use cranes to lift the Ravana. It was a tough process. Thousands of people are coming to the ground in the village to see the tallest Ravana,” Tejinder Chauhan said here.
This is not the first time that the Ravana in Barara village is creating a record. In 2007, the Ravana here was 151-feet high followed by 171-feet in 2008. In 2009, the Ravana here was 175-feet tall. In subsequent years, the height was increased gradually and this time the committee took a shot at 210 feet.
Behind the record breaking Ravana is the effort of artisans from Saharanpur district in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, all of them from the Muslim community, who are brought here by the committee to make the special Ravana.
The Hindu festival of Dusshera or ‘Vijay Dashmi’ symbolizes the victory of good over evil – to mark the triumph of Hindu god Lord Rama over demon-king Ravana.
“The Ravana here will be set on fire with a remote control device instead of the traditional bow and arrow as the arrow is unlikely to reach the chest height of the structure,” one of the members of the Ramleela committee said.
The Ravana here has cost the committee nearly Rs.6 lakhs and weighs nearly 3,500 kg. The crackers alone in this super-structure have cost over Rs.1 lakh.
For Chauhan, his love for the record-breaking Ravanas started in 1987 when he got a 20-feet high Ravana made. Even though the whole effort digs deep into his pocket and he has been forced to sell part of his land to keep up with his expensive devotion to this cause, Chauhan refuses to give up.
Ambitions for Chauhan and his Ramleela committee continue rise. And even though it finally goes up in smoke, they really don’t mind! (IANS)
*(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at [email protected])