Tripura’s ‘Maha Raas’ festival brings together people of different communities

Agartala (Tripura), Dec 14 (ANI): Donning in their traditional attires, girls in Tripura danced around the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha as they celebrated ‘Maha Raas’ or ‘Raas Leela’. Playing as ‘gopies’, they sung devotional songs throughout night at a local temple. This was the 222nd year of the celebration of ‘MahaRaas’, a festival that belong particularly to Manipuri Hindus. But today, both Bengalis and even the state's tribal population forgetting their religious and cultural identities participate in its celebration making it a platform of communal harmony. This tradition of ‘Maha Raas’ started in Tripura more than two centuries ago when its Maharaja, Krishna Chandra Manikya married a Manipuri Princess, the daughter of Maharaja Bhagya Chandra, who has already been holding this festival in Manipur. When the Princes came to Tripura, she along with her brought the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha and established a Radhamadhav temple and started this tradition. Since then, it is observed with much vigour and enthusiasm every year. Today, it is completely sponsored by the State government as per the treaty between Manikya dynasty and Federal Government during the time of merger of Tripura with Indian union. The Radha Govinda Raas dance is a classical form of dance and symbolizes the rich history and tradition of the Manipuri community and has playing an active role in spreading live and communal harmony for ages.