TODAY -

Heikru Hidongba

Bijoy Govinda Sevayet Committee Imphal *

Heikru Hidongba and Hiyang Tannaba at Bijoy Govinda, Sagolband :: 05th September 2014
Heikru Hidongba and Hiyang Tannaba at Bijoy Govinda, Sagolband on 05 September 2014 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



The festival of Heikru Hidongba is performed at the moat of the Bijoy Govind every year on the 11th day of the Manipuri Calendar month Langban with elements of religion, custom and other traditional belief of creation.

Historically, it is one of the several festivals to bring prosperity to the community which was started during the reign of Irengba in 984 A. D. With the passage of time and through the reign of several kings, many changes took place in the religious life of the Meiteis. The culmination was attained during the time of Maharaja Bhagyachandra.

During this time, Meidingu Nongpok Leirikhomba [Anantashai] uncle to the king tried hard to preserve the tradition and to effect an adjustment between the old and the new.

In 1779, Heikru Hidongba was performed at the moat of Bijoy Govinda with Sri Sri Bijoy Govindaji from the royal palace coming with customary rites and rituals after the completion of which it was installed in the new temple dedicated by Nongpok Leirikhomba at Sagolband Bijoy Govinda Leikai.

In the next year it was decided subsequently to have the Heikru Hidongba festival every year on the 11th day of the month of Langban.

Proceedings of the Heikru Hidongba

In a twin boat sanctified by the presence of the deity amidst chanting of Sankritana and music, arti is offered. Tengmaileppa (he who takes care of the boat), Hinao Shaba (he who steers the boat), Chang Shaba (he who looks after the Tengmaileppa), Nourungba (he who takes care of leakage of water inside the boat, etc) and Naomang Shaba (he who helps the one who steers the boat) are the main participants of the race who will put on Ningkham and Shamjin, traditional components of formal dress of such festivities.

Some more oarsmen are also there. Along with this the king will be present along with Vishnu. If the king could not be present, in that case, Vishnu will occupy the seat where traditional royal seat is laid out.

In keeping with customary tradition one day before the festival of Heikru Hidongba the king and the Vishnu are offered ritual invitation. In the evening boat race practice is done.

The leader of the race boat, in the early morning of Heikru Hidongba festival (early morning between 10th and 11th of Langban month) flakes of silver and gold put in a nganthak tengnou shaba (well-shaped earthen receptacle to put traditional smoke flakes) will be offered to Bijoy Govinda.

A garland of 108 heikru (amla) interspersed with stem of Hup (a wild grass) and another garland of 108 rice the peeling being done by hand will be first offered to Bijoy Govinda and afterwards placed at the bull of the boat.

Before the boat race starts Bijioy Govinda will have a pleasure visit of the panoramic scene. The two leaders of the race boat after due offerings to God will start the race.

Heikru Hidongba and Hiyang Tannaba :

Even though the two appear to be festivity of similar nature, there are lots of differences between the two.

As Heikru Hidongba is performed with necessary rituals on an appointed day enjoined by religious and customary sanctions it necessarily points to the difference between the two.

Heikru Hidongba is a combination of three words, namely, Heikru + Hi +T ongba = Heikru Hidongba. The festival is not performed at any other place than at the moat of Bijoy Govinda.

There is a historical background to the moat. It was known once as Tubi Irel. Once Meidingu Nongpok Leirikhomba was in the jail of the king of Moirang in letters from where he was freed by the plans of the daughter of Khelei Nungnang Telheiba.

Too happy at that, the moat was named Moirang Leima Thangapat the moat of Moirang Leima by which name it was also known.


* Bijoy Govinda Sevayet Committee Imphal presented this article for e-pao.net
This article was webcasted on September 29, 2016.



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