Sikkim Observes ‘Indra Jatra’ Festival With Traditional Fervour & Gaiety 

Posted in Featured, Northeast, Sikkim

 

  • Sujal Pradhan, NET Correspondent, Sikkim 

Indrajatra – a festival of Newar Community, one of the ethnic communities of Sikkim was celebrated with traditional fervour & gaiety.

The cabinet Minister – Sanjeet Kharel along with Minister of Public Health & Engineering Department (PHED) – Bhim Hang Subba, and Minister of Urban Development & Housing Department (UDHD) – L.B Das, Political Secretary to CM – Jacob Khaling, OSD to CM – Bhanu Pradhan along with other dignitaries were also present in the occasion.

The celebration also marked the Kumari Puja – a significant puja observed during the day. Sikkim Newa Gutthi organized the celebration; which incorporated of various dance troupes presenting cultural dances at the event.

Indra Jatra or “Yenya” is the biggest festival for the Nepalese “NEWAR” community in Sikkim and is celebrated with much fanfare throughout the state.

Named after the Hindu God of Rain and also the King of Heaven, Lord Indra, the festival’s prime objective is to seek his blessings in the form of rains and showers. Huge chariot processions accompanied with eclectic drum beats, masked dance performances and various classical dance performances are the integral elements of this vibrant festival that takes the streets of Gangtok in great awe of its cultural harmony. Needless to say, for cultural aficionadas, sociologists and anthropologists, this is one of the best times to plan their trip to Sikkim and other parts of North East.

The legend of the festival goes back to the Vedic times when Lord Indra was imprisoned by the people of Kathmandu Valley, after having him caught stealing the rare and fragrant ‘Parijat Flowers’ from the valley for his mother. It is then when the people realized who he actually was, they released him and promised to dedicate one of the most colourful festivals to him, also in return requesting him to visit the valley every year, thereby blessing it with rains and prosperity.

While it is pre-dominantly a Nepalese festival, it is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by the Nepalese Newar Gutthi community in Sikkim too and was introduced here in the year 2000 followed by its declaration as the state holiday in 2011.

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