People of the Hindu community gather under the banyan tree with food and other offerings. PHOTO: STAR
A tradition of about two hundred years, the Nishinath Tola festival has been observed recently at Nishinath Tola temple premises in Narail Municipality area under Sadar upazila in the district. The festival began on first day of the Bangla month Boishakh and was conclude in the last day of Boishakh. Hundreds of Hindu devotees from different areas of Narail, Jessore, Khulna, Gopalgonj and other parts of the country joined into the festival. A few individuals from neighbouring countries participated in the festival as well.
The Hindu community here can't mention exactly how old the festival is, but it is believed that this festival is about two or three hundred years old. In that practice, it is now regarded as a holy site for the Hindu community. In every year, in the month of Boishakh, this festival begins for one month. Hindu devotees gathered and day by day the numbers grow. The devotees collect water in a pot near the River Chitra and also bring valuable food, milk, oil, flowers and scarifies for the Nishinath Tola (in a Banyan tree) in the name of Krishna every Saturday and Tuesday. Later, they pray at the temple and take 'prosad'.
Through this ritual they believe that the water brings peace and purity in their life. Besides, a 'Namjoggo Austan' also was held here where hundreds of devotees enjoyed religious songs and storytelling sessions from 15 to 20 religious song groups. Kishore Kumer Kundu, Secretary of the Nishinath Tola Mondir and Celebration Committee, said that fair probably began more than 200 years ago. Jorna Rani Malakar, 65, a devotee, said she had been coming here for the last 30 years. “I feel heavenly peace by attending this festival every year and I scarifice my valuable things and water here on the Nishinath in the name of Krishna.” “I pray for my better future,” said another devotee, Swapon Kumer Das, 28.
Kalachad Biswas, 55, who hails from Kolkata, said he, along with many other Indian devotees, had been attending the festival every year to seek divine peace. Besides the festival, a village fair has also been organized here for one month where villagers of the region joined in.