India

Five century old Durga Puja started by royal family remains a big draw in Tripura

By PTI

Agartala: The five-century-old Durga Puja started by the Tripura royal family remains the ultimate attraction in this northeastern state despite the “invasion” of modern theme-based pujas organized by several organizations.

The celebration of Durga Puja was started five centuries ago by the Tripura royal family in Udaipur which was their capital at that time.

Over time it was shifted to Amarpur and finally to Agartala in the early 18th century by Maharaja Krishna Kishore Manikya Bahadur, who built a temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess about 183 years ago.

When Tripura signed the Instrument of Accession with the Government of India on October 15, 1949, it was agreed that daily worship and related expenses would be funded at the Durgabari temple, the Tripuraswari Kali temple in Udaipur in Gomti district, and a few other temples. and will be seen. Later by the state government.

To comply with the accession treaty, the district magistrate of West Tripura, who is designated as the sevayat (servant) of worship, has to supervise the rituals in the temple.

The state government pays for the daily worship as well as for the grand Durga Puja held in the month of ‘Ashwin’ (Autumn) as per the Indian calendar.

However, as the nominal custodian of the temple, the head of the royal family remains involved with all the functions held here, including Durga Puja.

However, in the Durgabari temple here, the goddess has two arms instead of the traditional 10.

History has it that the then Maharani Sulakshana Devi, wife of Maharaja Krishna Kishore, fainted upon seeing the ten-armed goddess, said Panna Lal Roy, who is researching the state’s history and heritage.

It is believed that that night, the Maharani had a dream where Goddess Durga advised her to worship a Durga idol, in which only two hands are visible, while the remaining eight are hidden on her back, Roy According to.

Thus the idol at Durgabari Temple, opposite the 120-year-old Ujjayanta Palace, which is believed to be the largest Durga temple in eastern India, has a unique two-armed statue of the Mother Goddess.

The temple’s chief priest Jayant Bhattacharya said, “The idols of Durgabari leading the ‘Dashami’ (the tenth day of the festival) procession are first immersed here at Dashmighat, and the state police stand in honor of the deity, and its The band is playing the national anthem.”

Earlier, buffaloes were sacrificed to the goddess in the temple.

However, that tradition was put on hold three years ago after the High Court of Tripura banned animal sacrifice in the state.

There are over 2,500 Durga Pujas in Tripura, of which around 1,000 are concentrated in Agartala alone.

Many of these are theme-based with elaborate pandals (marquis) based on historical temples elsewhere in the country, while others feature novel sculptures.

However, the traditional Durgabari Puja remains the biggest attraction for the devotees given its historical importance and the royal family’s association with it.

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