Agartala: In accordance with the state`s erstwhile princely tradition, the four-day Durga Puja festivities in Tripura began with a guard of honour to Goddess Durga at the Durgabari premises.
The puja started nearly 200 years ago by King Radha Kishore Manikya Bahadur in the Durgabari premises. It still enjoys state patronage with the administration sanctioning Rs 3.5 lakh for the pujas this year, official sources said.
When Tripura signed the instrument of accession with the Government of India on October 15, 1949, it was agreed that the daily work at the Durgabari temple, Tripureswari Kali Temple at Udaipur in Gomati district and some other temples would be funded and looked after by the state government.
In the early 19th century as the lore goes, Raja Krishna Kishore Manikya Bahadur`s queen fainted after seeing the Goddess with ten arms, Panna Lal Roy, an authority on history and heritage of the state, said.
Thereafter, on the advice of priests, Durga has only two hands visible while the remaining eight are hidden behind her back, Roy said.
At the 115-year-old puja at the house of Hara Chandra Debbarma, demon Ashura apologises with folded hands to the Goddess.
"We don’t believe in violence as we are Vaishnavites. Ashura, a symbol of evil is defeated by Durga, the symbol of good. He apologises to the Goddess for his misdeeds and prays for death at her hands for him to be able to enter paradise,"
B K Debbarman, a former Director of the Archaeological Survey of India, the grandson of Harachandra Debbarma, said.
According to data available from the state administration, 2500 community pujas are being organised in the state this year, including 100 new ones.
Of them, over 1,000 pujas are being held here in the state capital.
Adequate security arrangement have been made to ensure peaceful celebration of Durga puja throughout Tripura, police said today.
Police said about 2000 security personnel were engaged only in Agartala Municipal Council (AMC) area to ensure peaceful celebration of the Puja and elaborate traffic arrangements were made to make it hassle free.