Imphal, September 4: Like ‘Onam’, Manipur too celebrated its boat festival- ‘Heikru Hodingba’ with great enthusiasm. "Heikru Hidongba" is a socio-religious ceremony performed every year elements of religious, custom and other traditional belief of creation.
"Heikru Hidongba" is one of the several socio-religious ceremonies performed to bring peace and prosperity to the community which was started in early 984 A.D. The result was attained during the time of Maharaja Bhagychandra. The festival is celebrated every year on the 11th day of Meetei lunar month, Langban, which corresponds to the month of September in the Gregorian calendar.
This festival had been observed since 984 and 1074 A.D and marks the racing of two boats with pomp and spirit. Prayers are offered to Pakhangba (God of Meiteis) for the welfare of the king. Gold and silver coins are offered with a towel and garland on the deck of the boats. The pompous and graceful rowing of the two boats is the main attraction of this festival which is the biggest gathering of all around people of Imphal Valley.
Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla graced the 239th Shri Shri Govindaji Heikru Hidongba organised by Bijoy Govinda Sevayet Committee at Bijoy Govinda Thangapat, Sagolband. Thousands of people thronged the Bijoygobinda Moat to witness a boat race organised as part of the traditional festival. Religious rituals were performed, besides paying obeisance to God for bountiful blessings.