Story of Vijayadashami
Sri Rama Killed Ravana
It is on this day that in Treta Yuga, Bhagavan Sri Ram killed Ravana. Sri Rama with the assistance of Vanarasena, under the able leadership of Sugriva and Hanuman, invaded Lanka and killed Ravana, Kumbhakarna and rescued Sita devi, who was kidnapped by Ravana. To commemorate the divine event, people all over the country celebrate the day by burning the huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana) and Meghnad (son of Ravana).
Goddess Durga Annihilated Mahishasura
Another legend has it that Goddess Durga (Mahishasura Mardini or Chamundeswari) killed Mahishasura on this day. Mahishasura – a demon with the head of a buffalo and body of human – had created havoc on the earth after defeating the demigods and unleashed the rule of Adharma. To restore Dharma, Goddess Shakti appeared as Durga. She fought Mahisha and numerous demons for nine days and on the tenth day She killed Mahisha. From then onwards the day is celebrated as Vijayadashami.
A Story in Mahabharata
Another legend suggests that Arjuna in the Mahabharata during the last year of exile period took back his weapons on this day and fought against Kauravas to defend the Virata kingdom.