What makes Earth a suitable place to live, unlike the other planets? Now some may say water, oxygen, nature, and more. These surely are some undeniable necessities that are present here but apart from this, the spiritual power and belief are also there that makes it a happy home. Can any of us imagine our life without believing in a distant force who is protecting us? Maybe not, and that is why we, quite often, express our gratitude to this divine power.
Kharchi Puja is also one such way of showcasing the value and trust towards the Earth God. No matter how much we try, we just can't thank Mother Earth enough for being kind since day 1. This Puja is one of the most celebrated festivals in the state of Tripura. It is observed for straight 7 days and is even considered a royal event. Every year, it is observed on the eighth day of the new moon in July.
The festival is primarily celebrated in a temple premises, in Agartala, housing the idols of fourteen gods. There are numerous legends associated with Kharchi Pooja that attract thousands of devotees in and around the state towards it.
History of Kharchi Puja
Legends have it that Kharchi Puja is a way to cleanse Mother Earth. Ama Pechi, which is the period before this puja, is considered the menstruation period of the Mother Goddess. Therefore, during this time, the soil is neither dug nor ploughed.
Menstruation has been considered unholy among Tripuris for a long and thus women are barred from all significant functions and duties during that time. The Earth too is considered impure and unclean after the menstruation during Ama Pechi. Therefore, to clean the earth postmenstrual period, Kharchi Puja is performed.
Major Attractions of Kharchi Puja in Tripura
1. Idol Worship
On the day of the puja, all the 14 deities are carried to the river Saidra while chanting the verses and then bathed in the holy water. After returning to the temple, these idols are decorated with vermillion and flowers.
2. Holy Offerings
In the Kharchi Puja, 14 deities are worshipped in 7 days by offering flowers, fruits, and more. People come together as one to celebrate the greatness of Mother Earth by dancing, singing, and much more.
3. Cultural Programmes
Throughout the 7 days of the Kharchi Puja, myriads of cultural programs are held in the evening. A fair is also organized to celebrate the occasion.
4. Animal Sacrifice
An important part of Kharchi puja involves the sacrifice of animals or birds such as pigeons and goats.
5. Public Holiday
A public holiday is also granted to the natives of Tripura. However, it is given only for one day. Another popular festival of Ker Puja is celebrated just two weeks after Kharchi Puja.
How to Reach
Agartala in Tripura is one of the most amazing places to visit and explore the beauty of nature in India. Famous for its culture and heritage, one reason to visit Agartala is to witness Kharchi Puja which is celebrated with great gusto here. It is located at an approximate distance of 2,444, 3,290, 1,542, 3,489 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can reach Agartala by following means of public transportation.
Agartala Airport (IXA) aka Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport is one of the busiest airports in the northeast of India. Considered the second largest airport in Northeast India, this airport is managed by the Airport Authority of India. It receives direct and connecting flights from other Indian cities. After getting down from the flight you will need to take some means of public transportation.
After Guwahati, Agartala is considered to be the second capital city of Northeast India to be connected by train networks. It has been well-connected with other Indian cities. Once you deboard at the station, you can book a cab or take some other means of local transportation to reach your destination.
Travelling to Agartala can be an unforgettable travel experience. It has been connected with other cities via accessible and well-maintained roadways. From the nearby regions and cities, you can easily book interstate/private buses to reach here. You can also consider booking a cab or taking your own vehicle.