A 210-foot tall effigy of demon-king Ravana, now towering over a village in Haryana’s Ambala district, is targeting to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The tallest effigy in the country — and perhaps the world — has been erected in Barara village, 60 km from Chandigarh, and has become an attraction for people. Dusshera is on Thursday.
On Thursday, the Ravana effigy will go up in flames to mark the victory of good over evil, but it will make history for being the tallest one in India.
The effigy 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 effigy on Oct 16 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.
This is not the first time that the Ravana in Barara village is creating a record.
In 2007, the Ravana effigy was made as high as 151-foot high, followed by 171-foot in 2008. In 2009, the effigy was 175-foot 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 are the effort of artisans from Saharanpur district in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, all of them from the Muslim community, who were brought to Barara village by the committee to make the special Ravana.
The Hindu festival of Dusshera or ‘Vijay Dashmi’ symbolises the victory of good over evil — to mark the triumph of Hindu god Lord Rama over demon-king Ravana.
“The Ravana effigy 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 has cost the committee nearly Rs.6 lakh 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.
The ambition of Chauhan and his Ramleela committee continues to rise. And even though it finally goes up in smoke, they really don’t mind!