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Religion

Religion 

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.

Tribal Gods

The following are the names of various gods worshipped by the Tripuris and other major tribes of the state.

  1. Matai-Katar : The supreme deity of  Tripura is identified with Shiva Mahadev. The word Matai  means God and Katar mean great or supreme.

  2. Lam-Pra : The twin deity of sky and sea. Lam means sky or earth and Pra means sea or water.

  3. San-Grama : Deities personifying the sky, the sea and the mountains.

  4. Uima or Ganga : is especially worshipped in the month of Agrahayana. Tuima means water-mother or water-goddess.

  5. Mailu-ma or the goddess of corn is identified with Sri or Lakshmi.

  6. Khuluma or the goddess of cotton plant.

  7. Burha-cha or the god who is worshipped specially to cure illnesses.

  8. Bani-rao and Thari-rao - sons of Burha-cha.

  9. The seven goddess of witchcraft.

  10. The two brothers Goraiya and Kataiya worshipped on the last day of the Hindu year (chaitra sankranti).

Religious Ceremonies        

Bara puja - the most important religious festival of the Halam - is celebrated once in four or five years with great pomp and festivity.

The 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.

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Last Updated on : 4 June 2014