With the festival of lights around the corner, one of India’s smallest states, Goa is gearing up to celebrate this in its unique way. Tripurari Poornima, which falls on a full moon night immediately after Diwali is celebrated in this state with great fanfare. This festive celebration will mark the end of Diwali in Goa and falls on November 6, 2014.
Tripurari Poornima has been declared as a state festival and as a part of its effort to promote local fairs and festivals; Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has been assisting the Dipawali Utsav Samittee, Vithalapur Sanquelim to celebrate this occasion.
Tripurari Purnima is the full moon day during the Karthik month, according to the traditional Hindu calendar. The boat contest that takes place during this time is one of the main highlights of the festival and draws a large number of spectators and participants from all over Goa. Diyas or lamps are placed in the water before the boats enter. The boats are miniature replicas of actual ships while others are traditional crafts mostly made of thermacol and cardboard. This colourfully lit up scene forms a visual treat for the large numbers gathered.
The festivities will take place at Vithalapur in Sanquelim, near the Pundalik Temple. The river Valvanti which flows nearby makes it an ideal spot for the boat competition. The celebrations start in the evening as the palanquin of Lord Vithal is brought, amidst chanting and accompaniment of traditional music, to be placed on the banks of the river where it remains until the end of the boat competition.
Apart from the boat competition, there are a host of cultural programmes which includes songs by well known Goan artistes and performances of various traditional folk dances such as Goff, Dhalo, Tonyamel, Veerbhadra, Samai dance etc. As the competition progresses the competitors boats are brought and displayed near the shore.
The entire Vithalapur village is perfectly lit-up and has the ambience of a typical Goan Zatra celebration. The grand finale has a spectacular display of fireworks on a full moon night. The organisers of the Tripurari Purnima festival award prizes to the best designed boats. GTDC has sponsored rolling trophy for this festival.
GTDC will arrange for transport facilities for in-house guests (at the Residencies) and local Goans to witness the Tripurari Poornima celebrations. GTDC Coaches/Buses will be arranged from Panaji & Mapusa Residency at 8 pm & 8.30 pm respectively and return at 12.30 pm in the night. Tickets will be charged @ Rs. 100/- per person. Children above 6 years and below 12 years will be charged Rs. 50/-.
Every year nearly 15000 spectators attend this festival. International tourists staying at five star hotels also attend this festival in large numbers through special tour conducted by hotels.
The festival of Tripurari Purnima is a part of a legend. A powerful demon named Tripuri or Tripurasura built three impregnable cities of gold, silver and iron with the blessing of Lord Shiva. The demon became so powerful and his inflated ego knew no bounds and started attacking and tormenting humans and demi gods (devas). Brahma and Vishnu failed to contain Tripurasura who was armed with several boons from Shiva.
Finally, the task of annihilating the demon fell on Lord Shiva and after three days of fight, Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura and destroyed the three cities – Tripuri. This great victory happened on the full moon day in Kartik month and therefore the day is celebrated as Tripuri Poornima. Traditionally, the festival is celebrated by lighting of lamps.