Tripura, Oct 14: At a time when themed puja pandals draw the maximum crowd, this 500-year-old traditional Durga Puja of Tripura Agartala remains popular.
This pandal is popular because of this unique immersion program. During immersion of the idol, a standing Guard of Honor is practised by the State Police of Tripura while the National Anthem of India plays in the background.
Initially started by a king from the Manikya dynasty, the Durga Puja of Durgabari is unique in more than one way.
The idol of Goddess Durga worshipped here has only two visible hands while the other eight hands are hidden behind the idol. The story of this idol dates back to the 18th century during the reign of King Krishna Kishore Manikya of Udaipur.
It is said that queen Sulakhshana, the wife of King Krishna Kishore, was afraid to see the Dashabhuja (10 handed) avatar of Mother Durga while worshipping her on an Ashtami night. Ever since then, the Durga idol made here consists of only 2 visible hands.
Not only this but the process of Dashami is also unique for this particular puja.
“Since the inception of Tripura under the Union of India, this Puja is sponsored by State Government. During the immersion of the Durga idol, the idols of Durgabari leads the Dashami procession and are the first to be immersed at Dashamighat here with the state police standing guard of honour to the deity, and its band playing the National Anthem,” said Jayanta Bhattacharya, the Priest of Durgabari.
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When maa is given the position of the guard of honour by the state government and the national anthem is played, there is a huge crowd of people here during Maa’s farewell.
The regular puja and accompanying expenses at the Durgabari temple among others were agreed upon by the State Government of Tripura when it accepted the Instrument of Accession with the Indian Government on October 15, 1949.
Owning to that, all the expenses for the regular and yearly Durga Puja at Durgabari are paid by the State Government of Tripura.
This year’s schedule for Mahaashtami Puja at Durgapari included Puja during the morning hours, Annabhog at around noon, Aarati in the evening, Sandhipujo at 11:42 pm, and then lastly, the Nidra of the Goddess.