In News: Recently Kharchi Pooja was organised in old agartala, Tripura.
About the Pooja:
- The word Kharchi is derived from two Tripuri words 'Khar' or Kharta meaning Sin, 'chi' or si meaning cleaning. Final meaning is cleaning of the sins of the people or the kingdom.
- Kharchi puja is the worship of the dynasty deity of Tripuri people, the fourteen gods. It is performed in the month of July-August on the eight day of the new moon.
- The fourteen gods are worshipped by the royal priest Chantai.
- They are all Tripuri by birth, and the post is a hereditary one i.e only members of chantai family descendants are allowed to take the post of Chantai.
- This is the only puja exclusively performed by the pujari or the priests belonging to Tripuri people.
- The Khachi puja is performed after 15 days of Ama pechi or Ambu bachi.
- According to Tripuri legends Ama Pechi is menstruation of mother goddess or earth mother. So the soil is not ploughed or dug anywhere on this day.
- Among Tripuri the menstruation of a woman is considered as unholy, which is why in this period all the auspicious functions performed by women are prohibited.
- After the menstruation of mother earth during Ama pechi, the earth is considered to become unholy.
- The kharchi puja is performed to wash out the sins, to clean up the post menstrual unclean mother earth.
- On the day of puja, the fourteen deities are carried by members of chantai, taken to river Saidra, it is bathed in the holy water and brought back to temple.
Rivers of Tripura
- The burima,gomati, khowai,howrah, longai, dhalai, muhuri, feni, juri, manu are the major rivers .
- The Howrah River flows through the Indian city of Agartala and is called Saidra in Kokborok by the original inhabitants of the state.
About Tripuri tribe
- Tripuris are the largest tribal community in Tripura.
- Tripura was under rule of Tripuri kings till it merged with Indian Dominion in the year 1949.
- Ethnically Tripuris belong to Indo-Mongoloid origin and linguistically within the Tibeto-Burman family.
- Language: They speak in Kok-Borok dialect like other 7(seven) tribal groups of Tripura.
- Religion: Tripuris are mainly Hindus. They follow both the Shakti Cult and Vaisnavism.
- Festivals: Different rites and rituals are traditionally followed by them from time immemorial. Garia, Kharchi, Ker are their main festivals.
- Dances: They have colourful folk dances like, Garia, Lebang, Musak Surmani, Tangbiti and Mamita.