THREE-DAY INDRA JATRA FESTIVAL CONCLUDES A resounding celebration of tradition and culture

Gangtok, 24 Sept:

The three-day Indra Jatra festival, the biggest annual festival of the Newars, concluded at Manan Kendra, Gangtok on 23 September, registering as a resounding success, with Newars of Sikkim participating from all corners of the State.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling attended the religious ceremony held at Bhanu Udhyan in the morning of 23 September and offered prayers along with the Newars.

The executive members of Sikkim Newar Guthi felicitated the Chief Minister with a Citation on his becoming 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 the funds sanctioned for the Construction of Newar Bhawan at Sichey are some of his gracious benevolence for which the Newars of Sikkim will always be indebted,” the organizers convey.

On the occasion, 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 also released on the day.

The first two days (21 and 22 September) had exhibition stalls at MG Marg with the famed chaurasi vyanjyan (84 food items), Achaars, musical Instruments, photography, paintings, handlooms, jewelries, Newari Food stall, etc to showcase the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Newars of Sikkim.

The grand opening of the Indra Jatra festival and exhibition stalls had Minister Somnath Poudyal as chief guest. On the occasion, the raffle drawn in aid of the construction of Newar Bhawan was also released. Two postcards on Lakhey dance and Kumari dance were also released by the chief guest. The first day ended with cultural programs performed by the Newars at MG Marg.

On the second day of the festival, the Open Talent Hunt Competition and Newari Folk Dance Competition were held at MG 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 at the cultural programme held at Manan Bhawan.

The final day of the Indra Jatra festival started with a religious ceremony performed by Guruji Suryabir Taludar at Bhanu Udyaan. A jatra (procession) of Goddess Kumari was taken out from Bhanu Udhyan to MG Marg via Tibet Road in a beautifully decked 4-wheeled chariot.

The procession was attended by a large number of Newars who had thronged in from all corners of the State in traditional red and black attire.

The Indra Jatra festival concluded with a grand cultural program at Manan Kendra.

On the occasion, Sikkim Newar Guthi felicitated Shahid KP Pradhan posthumously who attained martyrdom fighting terrorists in Doda in J&K in the year 1994. Sanju Pradhan and Sabitri Pradhan were also felicitated for excelling and winning accolades and medals in football and Tae-kwon Do respectively. Awards for academic excellence to Class X and XII Newar students were given to Rahar Pradhan (Kendriya Vidyalaya), Sangit Pradhan (Rhenock SSS), Aavash Mani Pradhan, Rohan Pradhan, Kulin Deep Pradhan, Sheelu Pradhan (Tashi Namgyal Academy) and Shristhi Pradhan (Holy Cross SSS) .

Aditya Pradhan and Pooja Pradhan, the husband-wife duo, were awarded prizes for winning the 1st Bhaju Sikkim and Meiju Sikkim competition. Similarly, Jasmine Pradhan was awarded the 1st prize in Achar Competition for her Mango Lacha achar. Mementos were also presented to sponsors of the various competitions.

Dilu Pradhan, president, Sikkim Newar Guthi, spoke about the various activities undertaken by Sikkim Newar Guthi and urged all Newars to come forward and work for the community and the future generations. He stressed the need for all Newars to support the construction of the Newar Bhawan at Sichey.

Also speaking on the occasion, MLA Bikram Pradhan insisted that all Newars come forward to preserve their rich cultural tradition and customs and also highlighted the various activities taken up by the present Government for the welfare of Newars of Sikkim. The vote of thanks was offered by the General Secretary, IJCC 2018 Shri Jeewan Pradhan.