ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dussehra Festivities in Mughal Shahjahanabad

The enthusiastic participation of the Muslims in the Hindu religious festivities celebrated under the patronage of the Mughal kings reflected the prevalence of a composite culture in medieval India, where social and cultural interaction between the two communities flourished at various levels enriching both.

I recently laid my hands on a copy of Maheshwar Dayal’s book Aalam Mein Intekhaab: Dilli, published in 1987, by Urdu Academy. It describes the history, traditions and culture of Delhi from Mughal times to date. One of the things which fascinated me was the book’s description of the celebration of festivals in the walled city, particularly Dussehra and Ramlila.

After Shah Jahan shifted the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi and established the walled city of Shahjahanabad, he extended his patronage to celebrations of various important Hindu festivals observed by his army and people. Dussehra was one such festival which was established for the Hindu soldiers of his army, celebrated on the banks of Yamuna, behind the Red Fort.

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