Tika festival is the famous festival of Nepalese and it is broadly celebrated in the Darjeeling and its surrounding areas of North Bengal on the day of Dussehra. This time we celebrated it at Lepchajagat that is only 13 Km away from Darjeeling town. It was our Photography tour to Lepchajagat. Lepchajagat is the small village in Darjeeling District of North Bengal. We were five in number and the tour was arranged by our Tour De Foto (all over India photo tour organizer). We visited Lepchajagat in the time of this festival and enjoyed it with the local Lepcha tribe.
To know more about Lepchjagat, Please read my post in this link, http://sayantideb.com/lepchajagat-north-bengal/
Subrata was the Photoguide of our trip. The trip began with a huge uncertainty. Just before the two weeks ago of this trip I got uveitis (an autoimmune disease) at my right eye with severe eye pain and light intolerance. I had the responsibility to arrange the whole tour. This attack made my trip in a very doubtful situation. But, with the blessing of God and proper medical treatment, my vision was improved and I was ready for the trip.
But, another tough situation comes in our way. Subrata felled into a sudden viral fever just a day before the journey. It was a severe fever with body ache. We thought that we have to cancel the trip. But, Subrata is very determined about it and he joined the trip with 102 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. We salute his commitment. Finally, our trip began from Sealdah station on 18th of October, 2018.
We reached NJP station at 8.30 am. That day was Dussera. All the Nepalese cab drivers are busy for celebrating their Tika festival and take leave from their duty. Hence, the cabs for NJP to Darjeeling are very less on that day. We found a Bengali driver and hired his car for going to Lepchajagat.
The day was a foggy day. As much as we reach on the height the fog concentrated. When we reached Lepchajagat, we found that the village was hidden under the veil of fog. Our homestay was previously booked and we entered the rooms with a warm welcome of the owners of the Homestay. We felt the festive smell on around the village. People were roaming on the street with the big colourful mark (“Tika”) on their forehead in a very happy mood. We didn’t want to miss the moments of such a beautiful festival. We took our camera went into the village to capture the festive moments.
Tika is a colourful mark that is made on the forehead of somebody. This is mainly used for religious purpose. The Nepalese celebrate Dussera or Dashain by putting this Tika on each other’s forehead. Generally, the elder people of the family put it on the forehead of the younger members and give some small amount of money or gift at the time of blessing. This festival is started from the Tenth Day of Navratri and continues for five days, till the full moon. The family and relatives visit each other’s house to exchange gift and greetings.
The “Tika” is generally made by the rice grain, yoghurt, vermillion and colour (red). Red symbolise the blood that ties each other of the family.
After capturing the festive moments of the villagers, they asked us to put “Tika” on our forehead. We were happily ready to take that. The senior person, the homestay owner put the pink tika on our forehead and blessed us. We felt very lucky to be a part of this beautiful festival with the villagers.