History | People | Culture | Festival
In order to keep the English at bay and to enlist their support against the Moghals, the Marathas made friends with the Portuguese and signed with them a treaty in 1779. According to this historic treaty of friendship, the Maratha-Peshwa agreed that the Portuguese will be allowed to collect revenues from Dadra and Nagar Haveli which consisted of 72 villages, then known as parganas.
These territories were earlier ruled by the Koli chiefs who were defeated by the Hindu kings of Jawhar and Ramnagar. The Marathas conquered and annexed these territories to their kingdom.
By and large, this treaty was signed only to the extent that the Portuguese will only collect the revenue in compensation for their loss of a warship called 'Santana' which had earlier been captured by the Marathas but not surrendered to the Portuguese inspite of their many entreaties.
The area of Dadra &Nagar Haveli spread over 491.00 sq.kms. land locked between Gujarat in North and Maharashtra in South was liberated from Portuguese Rulers by people themselves on 2nd August 1954 . The people of the U.T. established free Administration of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, which was finally merged in to Union of India in the year 1961.
The U.T. of Dadra & Nagar Haveli is located on the western side of the foot hills of western Ghat and has undulating terrain 40% of the total geographical area is covered with forests and thus offers it a look of woodland. The major river Damanganga and its tributaries criss-cross the U.T. and drain into Arabian sea at Daman . The U.T. has population of 2.20 lakhs as per the 2001 census which has predominance of tribals forming a major chunk of 62% of the total population.
The major tribes are Varlies, Kokana, Dhodia and Dublas. The tribals have their distinct culture of their own consisting of curious rituals and colorful folk-lore. No occasion in tribal life is complete, be it a marriage or harvest without a folk dance. The major dances are Tarpa, Dhol, Bhavada and Gherria. The performers of these foot-tapping dances are equally good in other arts and art forms and are almost independent for most of their daily requirements.
Tarpa Festival: It is now celebration time in the U.T. of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. TARPA FESTIVAL is in the corner and this year the festival is being celebrated from 26th December to 29th December,2010. The U.T. of Dadra and Nagar Haveli is inhabited by Tribals who are endowed with rich cultural heritage and the tourists love to watch their colorful folkdances, rituals and the way of living. Such tribal culture is celebrated every year and is called as the 'Tarpa Festival'.
The Tribal dance cannot be seen every day in villages as all dances are performed during festivals and special occasion like marriages, harvesting, etc. This festival provides a glimpse to the visitor to see such folk dances and tribal culture at one place. The festival is organized during the Christmas vacation and it is peak season for the tourists which become an added attraction to the visitors.
During the period of the festival the Tourism Department also organizes several competitions such as Talent Search Competition, Varli Painting Competition,
Boat Race & Varli Painting Competition, Boat Race & Swimming Competition, Flower Decoration Competition, etc. and the festival is closed with a grand cultural evening with orchestra group & fireworks.
September is very attractive with celebrations of Ganesh Chathurdhi.
Feb.-March is extremely colorful with the festivities and show of Holi.
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