Agartala: Tribal communities in Tripura, especially the Jamatia’s, observed the traditional Chaitra Puja where devotees in large number visited the Mata Tripureswari and the Shiv Bari temples in Udaipur in their traditional dress.
Pradyot Bikram Kisor Debbarman, the representative of the States royal family was the main attraction of the day as people in large numbers rushed to have a look of the royal representative. Executive Member of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council Shantanu Debbarma, members Joy Kishor Jamatia and Jay Bahadur Jamatia also offered puja in the Tripureswari Temple along with hundreds of devotees.
Describing the history and tradition, secretary of Jamtia Hoda Biswajit Jamatia said soon after Maharaja Krishna Manikya shifted the capital of the then princely Tripura from Udaipur to Agartala in 1760, Jamatia Hoda incepted this long-established tradition of performing an annual Chaitra Puja for the welfare of society.
It is learnt that earlier, Bengali priests used to perform the much-awaited annual Chaitra Puja but this erstwhile tradition was changed by Jamatia Hoda in 1988 and since then, it is the Jamatia priests who have been performing the rites and rituals of the aforementioned festival.
The month of Chaitra is the month of worshipping Baba Garia. And it is in this month that Lord Shiva and Maatri Shakti Devi is worshipped in the form of Baba Garia, Jamatia said.
According to the social customary of Jamatia Hoda, people never worship any other deity during the 7-day long festival. During the princely era, the festival was popularly referred to as Ram Puja. This puja is also performed in Gomati, Burima and Kasma (Khowai) rivers with a view to not only establish peace and harmony in Tripura but also to enrich the State with crops, fodder, flora and fauna.
Above all, there is no tradition of animal sacrifice in Chaitra Puja and it is in this way that Jamatia Hoda performs the worship of both Lord Shiva and Maatri Shakti Devi in the form of Baba Garia Puja.