Agartala/Silchar, May 9, The 156th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate and poet Rabindra Nath Tagore was celebrated on Tuesday in Tripura and Assam.

Numerous programmes were organised across Tripura and southern Assam, with "Prabhat Pheri" (morning procession) being held in each locality.

Songs written by the world famous bard were sung and his poetry was recited at different venues in Tripura by local artists and performers as well as some from West Bengal and Bangladesh.

The Tripura government, which declared a holiday on Tuesday on the occasion, also organised programmes in the Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan and Rabindra Kanan in Agartala.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, a devoted Tagore fan, and Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Bhanulal Saha were present at the functions.

Chhandaneer, a renowned cultural organisation of Tripura, has also organised the "Kabi Pranam" programme in Agartala.

"We are organising Rabindra Jayanti for the past 43 years. Artists from West Bengal and Kolkata along with Tripura took part in the week-long programme," Chhandaneer chief Samiran Roy told IANS.

In Silchar, controversy fuelled after the Assam government officially cancelled the celebrations in schools and instead asked the Education Department to hold classes as usual.

However, non-government cultural organisations observed the day with numerous programmes and functions in four districts of south Assam.

Tagore had visited and stayed in Agartala and Shillong between 1899 and 1927.

Researcher on Rabindra Nath Tagore Bikach Chowdhury said: "Tagore's close relations with the princely state of Tripura and its four successive tribal kings form an important chapter in the state's history. This relationship prompted him to visit the state as many as seven times between 1899 and 1926."

"Tripura had a special place in many of Tagore's songs and he wrote a number of novels with the then princely state's history as the theme. Some of these are 'Bisharjan', 'Rajarshi' and 'Mukut'," he added.

--IANS