History of Kang Chingba
In the year 1832, the festival of Kang Chingba was introduced by King Gambir Singh, who ruled the then Kingdom of Manipur after the advent of Hinduism during King Pamheiba. But according to the Meitei scholar Pandit Lokendro, his records states that during the reign of Ningthou (King) Kangba of 1405 BC to 1359 BC, there was a celebration called Ahong Khong Chingba which had similarity with the present day festival of Kang Chingba.
Celebrating Kang Chingba
The main event of the festivities begins by pulling the Kang or cart, which has the wooden sculptures of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balarama, and sister Subhadra placed in it. The cart is pulled by devotees from Shree Shree Govindajee temple complex in the Imphal East district. This is done with much fanfare as devotees dress up in their traditional attire and partake in the ceremonial rituals.
Irrespective of caste, colour and gender, anyone can participate in the procession of Kang Chingba. The devotees offer flowers, fruits and sweets to Lord Jagannatha and His siblings wherever the procession goes. The sankirtana is performed in a circle by both groups of men and women separately. The men are followed by women and they sing songs with the rhythm of the Pung, which is a type of mirdanga used by Manipuri. This is followed by a dance by a group of young men and women. After the dance and song, distribution of prasadam known as Khichudi is offered to the devotees. The prasadam is distributed to all devotees without any discrimination by the Brahmins.
The ISKCON temple authority in Imphal also celebrates the festival of Kang Chingba by pulling mini kang which is similar to that of Odisha's Puri type, along the Imphal Airport road.
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