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Did you know that Ravana was born in a Delhi NCR village? Where residents still mourn his death on Dussehra
Most of us celebrate Dussehra each year with a lot of enthusiasm as victory of good over evil. The celebrations come to an end with the burning of effigies of Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran.

But very few are aware of the exact place where Ravana, perhaps the greatest villain according to Hindu mythology was actually born. Believe it or not, but Ravana's birth place is Bisrakh, a village on the outskirts of Delhi in Greater Noida West (around 15 km from the Delhi-Noida border).

Ravana spent his childhood in Bisrakh before migrating to Lanka. A narrow bumpy road separating from the Greater Noida Expressway leads you to Ravana's birth place. The village is named after Ravana's father, sage Vishwashrawa. He was a brahmin who was married to a daitya princess Kaikesi.

While the whole country celebrates Lord Rama's victory over Ravana, the villagers of Bisrakh offer prayers in a temple dedicated to Ravana on the occasion of Dussehra. They believe that since Ravana was born in the village, annoying the `son of the soil' could spell trouble for the villagers. Bisrakh has a population of 16,000.

Ajay Bhati, the pradhan (headman) of Bisrakh village said, "We had, 40-50 years ago, tried to break the tradition (of not celebrating Dussehra) by organising two Ramlilas and other festivities. But as the villagers burnt Ravana's effigy, the man who was playing Laxman suddenly died. The following year, after celebrating Dussehra, the artiste who had played Ram died,"

"Since then, villagers have stopped celebrating Dussehra and Ramlila. Since the deaths, the villagers are very scared of celebrating the festival and they instead come to the `Ravana ka mandir' (Ravan temple) to offer prayers on Dussehra, " Bhati said.

The temple is actually a Shiva temple which also has a `Shiv ling', although the villagers call it `Ravana ka Mandit'. Ravana's father it is believed built the temple to house the `Shiv ling' he had found in the forest grove.

The temple with a marble courtyard is now maintained by a sadhu. However, nowadays the temple can be seen surrounded by under-construction buildings, since the area falls in the real estate hub of Noida Extension, which has recently seen an unwarranted surge in development of housing projects.

Parminder Bhati, who is an advocate residing in the village said that Dussehra is a day of mourning in Bisrakh. "However, many children go to nearby villages to watch Dussehra celebrations," he further added.

The village also has representation in the Parliament through the culture minister, Mahesh Sharma. Apparently, he had promised to promote Bisrakh as a tourist place after taking charge.

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