Ker Puja, a celebration several centuries old, is being observed in Tripura with great zest.
Ker Puja is celebrated two weeks after Kharchi Puja in the Royal Palace in Agartala with financial support from the State Government.
Ker is considered the guardian deity of Vastu Devata in of the state of Tripura since the Manikya dynasty started ruling the state.
Ker means ‘boundary’ or ‘specified area’ in ‘Kokborok’ spoken by the tribals.
No one can go outside the boundary specified by the organizers of Ker during the two and half days of celebrations.
The ‘chantais’, or head priest, is regarded as a king during this celebration. A large piece of bamboo is bent to replicate the image of Ker and strict rituals have to be followed in the celebration.
It is generally believed that the former rulers used to perform this Puja for the general welfare of the people of the state.
Ker Puja was initiated to safeguard the people from diseases, destitution and external aggression.
Offering and sacrifices constitute an important aspect of Ker Puja and eggs, pigeons and homemade liquor are offered to citizens.
At the end of the 517-year rule by 184 kings, the erstwhile princely state of Tripura merged into the Indian union on October 15, 1949, by an agreement between Regent Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi and the Indian Union.