Tripura celebrates Raas Leela

Agartala, Nov.26 (ANI): Thousands of Manipuris celebrated “Maha Raas”, a festival celebrating the love life of Lord Krishna, here from the midnight of Thursday.

The festival is celebrated every year on the full moon night of “Kartik Purnima” in the Hindu month – “Kartik” to mark Krishna’s love for Radha.

Girls in their traditional dresses danced round the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha even as one acting as Gopies sang devotional songs throughout the night at a local temple.

The Maha Raas celebration started in Tripura more than two centuries ago and the Radha-Madhav Jews Temple.

Before the partition of India, devotees far from Syllhet and Comilla in present day Bangladesh used to come to participate in the night long festival.

The celebration started after a Maharani of the Manikya dynasty of Tripura, daughter of Manipur’s Maharaja Bhagya Chandra, brought the idol of Radha-Gobind from there and established a Radhamadhav temple here.

Tripura had a cultural and traditional bond with the Manipur kingdom that started more than 350 years back through matrimonial alliances.

Today the festival is sponsored by the state government as per the treaty between the Manikya dynasty and Union Government during the time of merger of Tripura with the Indian union.

Abhijeet Bhattacharjee, a priest in the temple, said, “The Raas Leela of Tripura state in the 1798 during the rule of second Rajdhar Manika after Hariswari, the second daughter of Manipur’s Bhagya Chandra, was married here. Earlier it was funded by the Maharaja’s but at present the District administration of West Tripura fund the Rass. From that time the Rass Leela is continuing in this Radhanaga temple. People from Manipur, Bangladesh, Assam and many other places gather here.”

Raas is a symbol of love and communal harmony where people of all communities gather here to celebrate forgetting all differences and get united and thus can play a vital role in bringing back peace in this small state burning in the flames of militancy and communal violence for more than two decades.

“We have come to see Radhamadhav’s Rass from Manipur. We have enjoyed the Rass and are very happey to be here,” said Parvati Sharma, a visitor from Manipur.

The Radha Govindas Rass dance is a classical form of dance and symbolizes the rich history and tradition of the Manipuri community. (ANI)

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