GANGTOK, September 24: The three day Indra Jatra festival, the biggest annual festival of the Newars of Sikkim concluded at Manan Kendra, Gangtok on 23rd September 2018. The three day program was a huge success with Newars of Sikkim participating from all corners of the State.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling attended the religious ceremony held at Bhanu Udhyan in the morning of 23rd September 2018 and offered prayers. The Executive members of Sikkim Newar Guthi felicitated the Chief Minister with a Citation on him being the longest serving Chief Minister of the country and bringing about welfare and communal harmony in the State in his 24 years 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. 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’ was also released.
The first two days (September 21st and 22nd) had an exhibition stalls at MG Marg such as the famed chaurasi vyanjyan (84 food items), Ethno Achars, 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 were inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Hon’ble Minister Shri 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 was 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 MF Marg, Gangtok. Shri 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 ceremony being 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 large number of Newars thronging from all corners of the State in traditional red and black attire.
The Indra Jatra festival concluded with a Grand Cultural program held at Manan Kendra, Gangtok. The program was graced by the Honble MLA Shri Pintso Chopel and other eminent dignitaries. Shri Dilip Pradhan,Chairma, IJCC presented the welcome address and briefed the gathering about the Indra Jatra festival.
On the occasion, Sikkim Newar Guthi felicitated Shahid KP Pradhan for attaining martyrdom while fighting the terrorists in Doda Zilla in J&K Valley in the year 1994. Shri Sanju Pradhan and Sushri Sabitri Pradhan were also felicitated for the 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) .
Shri Aditya Pradhan and Smt Pooja Pradhan, the husband-wife duo was awarded prizes for winning the 1st Bhaju Sikkim and Meiju Sikkim competetion. Likely, Smt 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.
Shri 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 generation. He stressed upon for support of all Newars required for the construction of the Newar Bhawan at Sichey. Also speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble MLA, Shri Bikram Pradhan insisted for all Newars to come forward to preserve the rich cultural tradition and customs and also highlighted the various activities taken upby 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.