Culture & Heritage
RELIGION AND CULTURE
Chatra has been a seat of religious tolerance from time immemorial .It is mainly famous for “Shakti” cult. The noted seat of this cult is to be found in Hunterganj and Itkhori blocks .Some Muslim shrines are located in Pratappur block and Chatra sadar.
Kauleshwari Devi Temple is situated on the top of kolhua hill at the height of 1575′ in Hunterganj block. It contains some ruined temples and historical monuments. It is the place of pilgrimage for the Hindus , the Buddhists and the jains Tirthankers. Its antiquity goes back to 10th century B.C. Here figures of Gautam Budha in meditation posture are also sculptured on the rock belonging to the period of Harshvardhana who was an ardent follower of the Mahayana doctrine of Budhism. There is a temple of Maa Kali known as Kauleshwari Devi or Kuleshwari Devi the revered deity of the kol community. People co-relate this place with epic age i.e. the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. On Basant Panchmi and Ram Navmi a large number of pilgrims flock to the hill top for worship. It is a fascinating and enchanting picnic spot with a very beautiful trekking of an hour duration.
Itkhori block headquarters has a famous temple of Bhadrakali where a happy mingling of Hindu,Jain and Budha deities may be seen. Budha deity Tara can be seen here in black stone image. It also has an inscription of the time of the king Mahendra pal Deva. Dr. Grierson in his notes on Gaya District (pp.3,4) has given a description of the Budhist stupa at Bhadrakali complex of Itkhori. A Pair of foot prints is also visitable. It is associated with Sheetal Nath the 10th Trithankar of Jainism. It is also associated with Mallinath the 19th Tirthanker and Parswanath the 23rd Tirthanker. The Hindus worship goddess Kali as Bhadrakali. The whole area is full of historical and cultural heritages.
Itkhori block is also famous for the image of goddess Bhagwati. Goddess kali is worshiped here as Jagdamba. People flock here to offer sacrifice and Mundan sanskar. It has a scenic beauty and is a very good picnic spot.
There is a shrine of Data Amir Ali shah at Barura Sharif on the bank of Sat Bahini river in Pratappur It is said that the sufi saint came here in the latter half of the 18th century. The Hindus and the Muslim alike come here to pay respect to the reverend saint at his Mazaar. People suffering from evil spirits come here in large number and get themselves cured.
There is a Mazaar (Shrine) of Data Faham Khyal Shah at Rabda Sharif in Pratappur who was contemporary to Data Amir Ali Shah of Barura Sharif. Here annual fair of the saint is celebrated with pomp and grandeur.
ROYAL MOSQUE OF CHATRA
In the headquarters of the district in Awwal Mohalla there is a royal Mosque which was constructed after 1660 A.D. when Daud Khan the Mughal Governor of Aurangzeb had conquered Kothi and Kunda. There was a Tahkhana and Toshkhana in the Mosque which has been closed now and the mosque has been reconstructed in modern style.
In Gudri Bazar Mohalla of Chatra there is a Sangat of Udasi Panth of Sikh doctrine where there is an old script of the Holy Gurugranth Saheb. It is venerated at this place and is kept in high esteem by the Sikhs and the Hindus as well.
Thus, Chatra is an emblem of communal harmony where the Hindus, the Muslims and the Sikhs reside in peace and harmony.
There is no specific and recognised language of this district. Generally spoken dialects are Magahi,Nagpuri,Khortha. But these dialects are also not in a pure from; rather in a mixed form. Generally people understand, speak,and write Hindi and Urdu. In day-to-day affairs people use the local dialects but in offical communication they use either Hindi or Urdu.
The population of S.T. in the district is not very significant but they use sadri or Nubndari (Tribal Language) among themselves.
Important festivals of Hindus are Holi, Divwali, Dashhara and Ramnavami. Other festivals like, Basant panchami, Chath, Jityya Bhaiya Duj, Teej, Jitiya etc. are also Celebrated in this district. Important festivals of Muslim communities are Id-Ul-Fitre, Baqrid, Muharram, Shabe-barat. Specific festival of the tribes are Karma, Manda, Sarhul, Jani shikar etc. In Karma festival non tribals also participate.
ART AND CRAFT
There is nothing to be specially mentioned about the art and Craft in this District, but handcraft like Tokri (Basket),Biri,Pattal(Leaves Plate), clay utensils (such as pitcher, Cheri, jar, etc.) etc. making is the source of livelihood.
MUSIC AND DANCES
Folk music is poplular in the rural areas of the district. It is usually presented on important festivals, marriages and on other occasions. The tribal dances are rythmic and are performed on the eve of festivals, marriages and other occasions.