NEPAL

Indra jatra observed in Kathmandu(with video)

Posted 3 months ago by Adarsha Devkota

Nepal is a country rich in cultural diversity. People of different caste, creeds, religions live here in perfect harmony. All the religions have their own beliefs as well as the gods worshipped also differ from one another. Hindu religion is the primary religion followed by most of the people of Nepal.

According to Hindu culture, it is believed that the balance of the ecosystem as well as formation of the world is the responsibility of god. It is told in Hindu myths that Fire, water, forests, medicine all are preserved by god .

These gods are remembered for the change of needed seasons and one of these is Indra Jatra.  It is one of the ancient festival celebrated in capital of Nepal, Kathmandu valley. This festival is celebrated by worshipping the king of god Indra who is considered to be the god responsible for rainfall.

Every year on the occasion of Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi, it is celebrated in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur as well as Dhulikhel, Dolakha  and Palpa

On the day of Bhadra Shukla Dwadashi, it formally begins by raising the flag of Indra  at the world heritage site, The Hanuman Dhoka Palace where cultural dances are conducted , chariot and gods and goddesses are worshipped . it is celebrated for eight days.

The flag raised on Bhadra Shukla Dwadashi is also known as Indradwojithan. On the bottom of the flag, god Bhairab is worshipped. Idra Jatra is celebrated as the victory over the enemies. Indra Jatra is taken as the festival celebrated to demonstrate the power obtained by worshipping Lord Indra.

With traditional methods, atree touched by  he-goat at the forest at Nala of Kabhre district is cut on the day of Bhadra Shukla Dwitiya and after that a occasion is choosen to take it to Kathmandu. After taking it to Kathmandu, it is kept at Bhotahiti  and the flag is prepared according to culture.

On the occasion of Indra jatra, the living goddess, Kumari along with lords Ganesh and Bhairav are taken on chariots for the tour of the city by head of the country. In the past, this was done by the King and presently it is done by the president.

Today on September 5 ( Bhadra 20) Indra Jatra is celebrated in the similar way. The festival began with the raising of the flag and different forms of dances like Bhakkunach, Mahakali nach, Lakhenach, Dashavatar as well as pulukisi nach resembling the airawat elephant, the carriage of Lord Indra are performed.

Religion expert Ramchandra Gautam said, on the eighth day after flag is raised , on aswin Krishna chaturthi, Indradhoj paatan is observed.

On this occasion, the devotees stay awake the whole night at Indra daha, dahachowk  situated at the western part of Kathmandu valley and next day they offer prayers after taking bath.  On the occasion of Bhadra Shukla Chaturdashi, Lord Bishnu known as anantanath is also worshipped. So this day is also known as ananta chaturdashi. It is believed whole year will be full of well being and success by using a holy thread after chanting mantras.

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