Jorhat, Nov 25: Majuli, the seat of Vaishvite culture, is immersed in devotiol fervor as the annual Raax festival got under way at the riverine island along with other parts of the State.
Majuli besides lbari and Palasbari are known for the festival which celebrates the divinity of Lord Krish.
At Majuli, also a biodiversity hotspot, the festival is being organised in 55 rangomoncho's (public stages) and 12 xatras, and is expected to attract thousands of tourists besides the local populace.
As per tradition, the historic Dakhinpaat Xatra which has already completed 175 years of its existence, observed the Raax Puja on Tuesday evening, marking the commencement of the festival which will be followed by dramatization of Raax Leela of Lord Krish at various amghars (prayer halls).
Preparations for the annual performances were afoot in the remaining 26 xatras out of the total 65 xatras set up by the fifteenth century socio-cultural and religious reformer-turned-saint Srimanta Sankardev and his disciple Madhavdev. The existing xatras, community halls, public places, amghars and schools are agog with activities amidst the beats of khol (drum), taal (cymbals), flute and conch shells.
Said Xatradhikar Shri Shri Pitambor Devo Goswami: "We don't worship dev-devis here but as a part of the Xarodio Utsav (autumn festivities), we observe Raax Leela and hold paal am (night-long prayers) from the first week of November for a period of 20 days".
It must be mentioned here that Pitambor Devo Goswami has played a pioneering role in breaking the earlier rigid tradition of dual performance by male performers, who had to ect the roles of both male and female characters of the epic period. Of late, the Mishing and other tribal inhabitants of the world's largest river island have started organising Raax in several places.
This year the main attraction of the Dakhinpaat Xatra will be the performance of a cultural troupe from Manipur who have been invited to mark the completion of 175 years of Raas Mahotsav. Also Assamese cine artist Gayatri Mahanta and others will perform in the three-day show. Visiting tourists can also avail free stay and food at the historic Uttar Kamalabari Xatra.