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Kharchi Puja

  • 30 Jun 2023
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

Kharchi Puja, a significant festival celebrated in the state of Tripura, has recently garnered attention in the news.

  • The festival commenced on June 26 this year and will continue until July 2.

What is the Kharchi Puja?

  • About:
    • Also known as the 'Festival of 14 Gods,' this traditional event involves the worship of Chaturdasa Devata, (housed in the ancient Ujjayanta Palace), the ancestral deity of the Tripuri people.
      • During the festival, the Tripuri people also worship the earth along with their 14 deities.
    • An important ritual in this festival involves the construction of the Chaturdasha Mandapa, a structure that symbolizes the royal palace of the Tripuri kings.
    • On the day of the Puja, the 14 gods are carried to river “Saidra” by the members of “Chantai” (royal priests). The gods are bathed in the holy water and are brought back to the temple.
  • History:
    • The word ‘Kharchi’ is derived from two Tripuri words– ‘khar’ or kharta meaning sin and ‘chi’ or si meaning cleaning.
      • Although the festival has tribal origins, it is celebrated by both tribal and non-tribal people of Tripura.
    • It is believed that the Mother Goddess or Tripura Sundari, the presiding deity of the land who protects the people of Tripura, menstruates during the time of Ambubachi, which is observed in June.
      • There is a popular belief that the Earth becomes impure during the menstruation period of the Goddess.
      • Hence, Kharchi Puja is observed to ritualistically clean the Earth after her menstruation is over and wash away the sins of the people in the land.

States and UTs Major Festivals
Andhra Pradesh Makar Sankranti, Ugadi
Arunachal Pradesh Losar, Solang, Mopin, Monpa festival
Assam Bihu
Bihar Chhath Puja
Chhattisgarh Maghi Purnima, Bastar Dussehra
Goa Shigmo Mel
Gujarat Navaratra, Uttarayan (International Kite Festival)
Haryana Baisakhi, Gugga Naumi
Himachal Pradesh Gochi, Kullu Dussehra
Jammu & Kashmir Bahu Mela
Jharkhand Sarhul, Karam/ Karma
Karnataka Karaga
Kerala Onam, Adoor Gajamela
Madhya Pradesh Lokrang Festival
Maharashtra Ganesh Chaturthi
Manipur Yaosang, Cheiraoba, Heikru Hitongba
Meghalaya Nongkrem Festival
Mizoram Chapchar Kut,
Nagaland Hornbill festival, Moatsu, Mimkut
Odisha Rath Yatra
Punjab Lohri, Baisakhi
Rajasthan Gangaur, Teej
Sikkim Sakewa, Tendong Lho Rum Faat
Tamil Nadu Pongal
Telangana Bathukamma
Tripura Kharchi Puja, Neermahal Festival
Uttar Pradesh Ram Navmi, Kumbh Mela
Uttarakhand Magh Mela
West Bengal Durga Puja

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question:

Q. Consider the following pairs: (2018)

Tradition State
1. Chapchar Kut festival Mizoram
2. Khongjom Parba ballad Manipur
3. Thang-Ta dance Sikkim

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only 
(b) 1 and 2 only 
(c) 3 only 
(d) 2 and 3 only

Ans: (b)

Q. Consider the following pairs: (2017)

Traditions Communities
1. Chaliha Sahib Festival Sindhis
2. Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra Gonds
3. Wari-Warkari Santhals

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) None of the above

Ans: (a)

Q. Every year, a month long ecologically important campaign/festival is held during which certain communities/tribes plant saplings of fruit-bearing trees. Which of the following are such communities/ tribes? (2014)

(a) Bhutia and Lepcha
(b) Gond and Korku
(c) Irula and Toda
(d) Sahariya and Agariya

Ans: (b)

Source: IE

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