Centuries-old 'Kharchi Puja' in Tripura mandates mask from devotees
By Our Correspondent, 27/06/2020, Agartala

As the state of Tripura is preparing for the annual centuries-old ‘Kharchi Puja’ festival amid this COVID-19 pandemic, the devotees this year are tied with a set of norms while making an entrance into the 14 Goddess Temple traditionally known as ‘Chaturdash Devta Mandir’ at Old Agartala in West Tripura district. The seven-day long festival of worship of 14 Gods, popularly known as Kharchi Puja is to begin from June 28.

The priests in the temple on Friday performed ‘Jari Puja’ which is believed to be the beginning of the worship to the 14 Goddess. While asked about, the priests who performed the rituals today told media that there are certain norms made for the devotees this year due t the global pandemic of COVID-19. He said, “Masks are made mandatory for the devotees who are to visit the festival and enter the temple premise to offer prayer.

 Apart from this children below 10 years of age and devotees above 60 year of age are not be allowed to take part in the festival.” He however said that the seven-day long festival of this Kharchi Puja is to be celebrated maintaining social distancing norms. According to an agreement signed with Royal family of Tripura, the Tripura government has been bearing all the expenses of the festival for the last several decades.