Tripuris are under Hindu inspiration. They had their tribal religion modified by
Hinduism. The cantais (the Tripuri high priests) and the Deodais are regarded as
the custodians of the Tripuri religion and still occupy as exalted a position in
society as the Brahmins in Hindu society.
Majority of the tribes in Tripura - the
Tripuris, Reangs, Jamatia, Noatias and
Halams - are Hindus and practice all the Hindu religious rites.
The Halam and
the Noatias are generally the followers of the Sakti Cult, but most of the
people belonging to the Kalai and Rupini sections of the former tribe follow
Vaishnavism. The form of worship practiced by them is same as that of Hindus,
but they are animistic, and believe in the existence of God in all elements of
nature. All places are holy as they are the seats of either good or bad spirits.
The appeasement of the spirit is necessary so that people are saved from a
calamity in the form of failure of crop, famine, flood, or epidemic.
following are the names of various gods worshipped by the Tripuris and other
major tribes of the state.
Matai-Katar : The supreme deity of Tripura
is identified with Shiva Mahadev. The word Matai
means God and Katar mean great or supreme.
Lam-Pra : The twin deity of sky and sea. Lam means sky
or earth and Pra means sea or water.
San-Grama : Deities personifying the sky, the sea and the
Uima or Ganga : is especially worshipped in the month of
Agrahayana. Tuima means water-mother or water-goddess.
Mailu-ma or the goddess of corn is identified with Sri
Khuluma or the goddess of cotton plant.
Burha-cha or the god who is worshipped specially to cure
Bani-rao and Thari-rao - sons of
The seven goddess of witchcraft.
The two brothers Goraiya and Kataiya
worshipped on the last day of the Hindu year (chaitra sankranti).
puja - the most important religious festival of the Halam - is celebrated once
in four or five years with great pomp and festivity.
other two important pujas celebrated by the tribals and the non-tribals alike
are Kharchi puja and
Ker puja. The former is celebrated for a week in the month
of Ashada (June to July) at puran Agartala, the puja is celebrated before all
the fourteen gods.
Fourteen days after the Kharchi
puja, the Ker puja is celebrated. The puja which
is a must for the Halam tribe was initiated by the Tripura rajas and is
celebrated in the Bengali month of Ashada with a view to warding off all
dangers. During the Ker puja, all entrances to the capital are closed for two
days and a half. During the celebration, everyone, including even the reigning
sovereign, is subjected to numerous restrictions - all people are obliged to
remains in their houses, and are allowed to go outside only twice that to for a
few hours, not being allowed to put on shoes, to light a fire, to dance and
sing etc. All who violate these have to pay fine. But now this has changed and
restrictions have become few.