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Worship program of 14 goddess in Agartala, Tripura - Kharchi Puja

Temple of 14 gods
Temple of 14 gods

History of Kharchi Puja Tripura

Legends say that Kharchi Puja is a way of purifying our Mother Earth. Ama Pechi, which is the period before this puja, is considered the menstrual period of the Mother Goddess. Therefore, during this time, the soil is neither dug nor plowed.

Menstruation has long been considered unholy among the Tripurais and thus women are barred from performing all important tasks and duties during that time. During menstruation/Ama Pechi, the earth is also considered impure and impure. Therefore, to clean the post-Earth period, Kharchi Puja is performed.

With the onset of centuries-old Kharchi Puja, thousands of people from Tripura are circling the Chaturdash Devta Temple (Temple of 14 Goddess) in the old city of Agartala, 8 km from the capital city of Agartala, during the week with its goddess- To worship the goddess. Festival.

Kharchi Puja - Performing rituals on 14 deities
Performing rituals on 14 deities - Kharchi Puja

Why Kharchi Puja is performed?

The word 'Kharchi' is derived from two different words - meaning 'Khar' which means sin and - Chi 'which means cleanliness. Together, it means the cleansing of sins committed by people.

Kharchi Puja is a worship program that is performed at Chaturdash Devta Temple 15 days after Ambubachi. The ritual begins after 'the Raj Chantai' (head priest) and his fellow priests take the 14 deities to a river, which is followed by a bath in holy water. The deities are then brought to the temple, decorated with flowers and vermilion applied to their foreheads.

The 14 deities are Shiva, Durga, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Vani or Saraswati, Kumar or Kartikeya, Ganapati or Ganesh, Brahma, Prithvi, Abdi or Samundra, Ganga, Sikh or Agni, Kamadeva, and Himadri.

Rituals done during Kharchi Puja
Rituals are done during Kharchi Puja

It is known that Kharchi Puja started in 1760 AD. It was celebrated by the then Maharaja Krishna Manikya Bahadur and since then this festival has been celebrated by the public.

"Chaturdash Devata" means 14 deities. Among them, three deities, namely Mahadev, Durga, and Narayana are worshiped throughout the year. The other 11 deities are placed in the underarm. He is worshiped with only three deities on those seven days of the festival.

“Around 45 priests are engaged in the worship program of 14 deities, while seven priests stay here throughout the year to worship the three deities in the temple. The idols are made of gold and silver, 13 of them are Mahadev in gold and silver, ”the head priest said. It has been observed by the local witness that the number of devotees visiting here is increasing with each passing year.

Earlier, the Kharchi Puja Mela (fair) was organized in a small way, but the infrastructure has developed to a large extent these days. The number of stalls established in the fair has increased and the number of people visiting here has also increased over the years.

During the time of this auspicious event

Devotees from different parts of the country attend this worship program, Kharchi Puja. This event is the second-largest event celebrated in the Old Agartala city after Diwali that is being celebrated at Udaipur city of Gomati district. 

Personnel running a pera shop (dessert shop) in the vicinity of the event are mostly of the third or fourth generation of the family, who have been involved in selling sweets for the past 50 years.

Fair organized every year during Kharchi Puja
Fair organized every year during Kharchi Puja
According to the understanding, they earn around 500–700 rupees per day. However, during the festival, the demand is very high and their income increases from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000. Demand is so high that at times they also get supplies from Udaipur-based Pera manufacturers and during the festival all the shopkeepers here spend more than Rs 30 lakhs to make Pera alone.

In terms of security arrangements and convenience of the people, many CCTVs are being installed in and around the temple. Also, 150 Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans along with 150 Scout boys and girls and civil security and local volunteers are keeping a close watch during the festival.

Key attractions of Kharchi Puja 2020

1. Idol worship: On the day of worship program, all the 14 deities are taken to the Saidara River reciting the verses and then bathed in holy water. After returning to the temple, these idols are decorated with vermilion and flowers.

2. Holy offerings: In Khachi Puja, the worship program is performed on 14 deities by offering flowers, fruits, and more in 7 days. People come together to celebrate the greatness of Mother Earth by dancing, singing, and more.

3. Cultural Program: Cultural programs are organized in the evening during the entire 7 days of Kharchi Puja. A fair is also organized to commemorate the occasion.

4. Animal sacrifice: An important part of Kharchi worship involves the sacrifice of animals or birds such as pigeons and goats.

5. Public holiday: The native inhabitants of Tripura are also given a public holiday. However, it is given for one day only. Another popular festival of Keri Puja is celebrated two weeks after Khachi Puja.

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