Indra Jatra festival on Thursday
Indra Jatra is one of the fascinating festival celebrated in Kathmandu Valley. It is celebrated by pulling chariot of Lord Ganesh, Bhairav and living Goddess Kumari.
The head of the country observes the festival at Hanuman Dhoka.
Also the remarkable crowd of local residents gathers aroud the Durbar Square premises to observe Indra Jatra, the god of heaven and rain.
It is observed by both Hindus and Buddhist with great enthusiasm. It is also believed that Indra Jatra is a festival of classical dances. It is on this very day when one is able to observe numerous varieties of traditional dances.
The festival of Indra Jatra continues for eight days with much rejoicing, singing, dancing and feasting. People from all over Nepal, mostly those who live within the Kathmandu Valley.
The first day of the festival is viewed by a large number of people. On that day, a long wooden pole called “lingo” is erected in front of the ancient Royal Palace at Hanuman Dhoka, in order to propitiate Lord Indra, the”god of rain”. Classical dancers also assemble at the spot, wearing different kinds of traditional masks and costumes and dancing around the courtyard of Hanuman Dhoka to celebrate Indra’s visit.
On each day, different toles or areas celebrate it by preparing famous Newari delicacy “Samay Baji”. And this “Samay Baji” is also distributed amongs their neighbours to maintain the brotherhood and faith among each other.
On the third day of the festival of Indra Jatra, the living goddess Kumari is taken out in a procession in a chariot. “Kumari”, the “living goddess”, is considered to be an incarnation of the goddess “Taleju”. Chariots of Kumari, Ganesha and Bhairav are taken around the city for three days.
According to Hindu beliefs Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati who has a head of an elephant and Bhairav is another form of Lord Shiva himself.
On fifth day, it is called Punjali Bhuja. In the temple in Purnachandi of Lalitpur, a special mountain like structure is displayed which is made from rice along with other dishes. It is another wonderful event to observe and cherish.