Bastar is celebrated in Dandakarnya, where Lord Rama is believed to have spent the 14 years of his exile. Bastar Dussehra spans over 75 days starting around August and ending at October. It is thus the longest Dussehra celebrations in the world.
It involves the participation of diverse tribes and castes. The festival involves rituals of extraordinary rigour like a girl swinging on a bed of thorns; a youth (jogi) sitting in vigil, buried shoulder-deep, for nine days etc.
The festival provides a forum for elected representatives, administrators and tribal chieftains to make an address speach. One of the most awaited events is the rath yatra. It is made new each year using tribal tools and methods and sight of 400 persons pulling a large chariot is an experience by itself.
Bastar Dussehra is deeply influenced by the local myths and religious beliefs and the customs of the tribals.