Colourful Indra Jatra festival comes to an end

Report by: 
SANJAY AGARWAL
RONGPO
26 Sep 2018

The three day Indra Jatra festival, the biggest annual festival of the Newars of Sikkim, concluded at Manan Kendra, Gangtok, on Tuesday.  The three-day programme was the participation of Newars from all corners of Sikkim.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling attended the religious ceremony held at Bhanu Udhyan in the morning and offered prayers. The executive members of Sikkim Newar Guthi felicitated the Chief Minister with a citation for being the longest serving chief minister of the country and bringing about welfare and communal harmony in the State in his 24-year tenure. The recognition of Newar language, appointment of Newari teachers in government schools, holiday for Indra Jatra and funds sanctioned for the construction of Newar Bhawan at Sichey were some of the helps he had extended to the Newars of Sikkim. The Chief Minister was also presented with a memento. The annual magazine of Sikkim Newar Guthi ‘Smarika’ and the quarterly magazine on Newar culture and tradition ‘Pau’ were released.
On the first two days of the programme exhibition stalls were set up at M.G. Marg and the famed chaurasi vyanjyan (84 food items), ethno Achars, other Newari food stalls, musical Instruments, photographs, paintings, handlooms and jewelries were on display to showcase the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Newars of Sikkim. The festival and the exhibition stalls were opened by Minister Somnath Poudyal. On the occasion, the Raffle drawn in aid of construction of Newar Bhawan at Sichey was released. Two postcards on lakhey dance and kumari dance were also released. The first day ended with cultural programmes performed by Newars at MG Marg.
On the second day of the festival, the Open Talent Hunt Competition and Newari Folk Dance Competition were held at M. G. Marg, Gopal Bishwakarma from Tinek, Singtam won the Talent Hunt Competition while the Dentam Sakha Guthi won the folk dance competition. The awards and certificates were presented to them in a cultural programme held at Manan Bhawan, Gangtok.
The final day of the Indra Jatra festival started with religious ceremonies being performed by Guruji Suryabir Taludar at Bhanu Udyaan. A yatra (procession) of goddess Kumari was taken out from Bhanu Udhyan to M.G. Marg via Tibet Road in a beautifully decked four-wheel chariot. The procession was attended by large number of Newars thronging from all corners of the State in their traditional red and black attire.
The festival ended with a cultural programme held at Manan Kendra. On the occasion, Sikkim Newar Guthi remembered K.P. Pradhan who died fighting terrorists in Doda in Kashmit valley in 1994. Sanju Pradhan and Sabitri Pradhan were felicitated for excelling in football and Tae-kwon Do respectively. Awards for academic excellence to Class X and XII Newar students were also given.