Agartala hosts Manipur’s traditional dance of divine love

November 24th, 2007 - 10:46 pm ICT by admin  

By Pinaki Das
Agartala, Nov 24 (ANI): Thousands of people participated in the “Maha Raas,” the dance of divine love, in Agartala from Friday night till Saturday morning by re-enacting the love life of Lord Krishna.
The festival is celebrated every year on the full moon night in the Hindu month - “Aghrayan” — to mark the love of Lord Krishna for his consort Radha.
Artists dressed up in traditional costumes, danced around the idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha through the night.
They enacted as “Gopis,” the companions of Radha, and sang devotional songs in the centuries-old Manipuri dance.
The “Radha-Govinda raas” is a platform where people forget their differences and love takes precedence over personal pride and prejudices.
The participants included people from all walks of life and communities.
“People from all sections of society have gathered here. Such occasions promotes national and social integrity,” said Keshab Mazumder, Tripura Revenue Minister, who was present at the celebration as a special guest.
The “Maha-Raas” celebration started in Tripura, more then two century ago in temple Radha-Madhav Jews Temple.
This was the 210th year of celebration at the Radha-Madhav temple.
In the pre-independence India, devotees from remote areas of Bangladesh came to witness the nightlong celebrations in Agatala.
The celebration started after a queen of the Manikya dynasty of Tripura, who belonged to Manipur kingdom before marriage, brought the idol of Radha-Gobind along and established the Radha-Madhav temple here.
Birjit Sinha, a MLA, belonging to the Manipuri community, said “Maha Rass is one of the most important festivals of the Manipuris, that is being celebrated in Tripura from the time of ‘Maharajas’. Manipur’s King Bhagya Chandra got one of the daughters married with a King of Tripura. Then the Maharani brought the idols of Radha-Madhav from Manipur.”
“Raas” is a classical form of dance associated with the cultural tradition of the Manipuri community.
The idols of Lord Krishna and Radha form the intrinsic part of the ritual. The idols are brought out of the temple and placed at the centre, around which girls dressed in traditional attire dance throughout the night. (ANI)

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