Agartala: The Durga Puja festivities In Tripura
got off to a start with a guard of honour to Goddess
Durga at the Durgabari premises here in accordance with the
state`s erstwhile princely tradition.
Started nearly 150 years ago by King Radha Kishore Manikya
Bahadur, the Durgabari puja in West District still enjoys
state patronage with the administration sanctioning Rs 3 lakh
for the pujas this year.
Radha Kishore, the most prominent among the Manikya kings,
was a patron of arts and letters with Poet Rabindranath Tagore
being among his personal friends.
A district administration official said on Monday that when
the instrument of merger of the erstwhile princely state of
Tripura was signed on October 15, 1949 with the Government of
India, it was a condition that the Goddess Durga would be
worshiped by the government of Tripura and would be given
guard of honour on the day of Saptami and before the immersion
on the day of Dashami.
Altogether 2000 pujas are being performed throughout the
state and the state police department has made huge security
arrangement to control the crowd and maintain safety and
security of the viewers.
More than 10,000 security forces including state police,
paramilitary Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and CRPF have been
deployed to keep a close vigil to avert any untoward incident.
Closed circuit TV and long watch towers were installed
here by police for security purpose in the border state and
patrolling intensified in the remote and hilly areas.
Transport Minister Manik De said on the request of the
state government, the Pavan Hans has introduced a 11-seated
helicopter for arial view of the Durgapuja in the capital
The service would be available at the rate Rs 500 per
seat, the minister said and added the chopper would take-off
and land from Agartala airport.