NALBARI, Nov 28 – With the inauguration of the main gate of the Hari Mandir this evening, the 79th Raas festival of Nalbari, a huge religious and cultural event of the North East, began here with a 12-day programme.
Renowned journalist, editor of Dainik Asom Radhika Mohan Bhagawati opened the main gate at 5.30 pm. In his speech, Bhagawati said the celebration of the Raas festival at different parts of Assam once again proved that the people of the State are still closely linked with the great cultural tradition established by Srimanta Sankardev. “Raas Mahotsav is a festival of unity and integrity. Festivals like Raas give us a scope to forget the differences in terms of caste, creed and religion,” he opined.
In the inaugural function, former president of Asom Sahitya Sabha Dr Lakshmi Nandan Bora, pracharak of Srimanta Sankardev Sangha Mahesh Mahanta, Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka, Nalbari MLA Jayanta Malla Baruah, were present. Earlier, the guests were brought to the Hari Mandir premises with a colourful procession from the Nalbari Inspection Bungalow, where cultural troupes of all ethnic groups residing in the district took part. The Nalbari Deputy Commissioner Lalit Chandra Gogoi released the souvenir published on the occasion.
In the festival, three stalls specially decorated with the slogans ‘Save rhino’, ‘Save Majuli’ and “Mahabahu Brahmaputra Maha Milanar Tirtha’ are expected to draw huge crowds. The Hari Mandir Celebration Committe has fixed Rs 30 lakh as budget for the 12-day festival.
The tiny Nalbari town today wore a festive look with installation of spectacular lights. The celebration committe completed all the preperations to make the festival a grand success. The committee has taken some special measures to make it attractive for visitors. About 10 idol makers led by Makhan Paul of Maligaon made more than a thousand idols for display during the festival. About a hundred temporary stalls have been erected for the idol display depicting different incidents of the eventful life of Lord Krishna. The committe also erected four gates with sophisticated devices – one each at Bata Chowk, Barama Road, NT road and Dhamdham bus stand.