Indrajatra 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Indrajatra started on from 24th of September and ended on 30th of September. With the installment of the Yashi, the Indrajatra started in Kathmandu Valley. The main action of the Indrajatra is the chariot procession of three Gods, Ganesh, Velu, and Goddess Kumari. The main attraction and importance is given to the Goddess Kumari in this festival.

On the first day, the chariots are being pulled by hundreds of people through the places namely, Basantapur, Maru, Jaisideval, Lagan, back to Jaisideval and Bhimsensthan, and back to Maru and finally rested at Basantapur where it started.

The second day, the chariots have its journey from Basantapur, Pyafal, Naradevi, Tengal, Bangemuda, Bhedasingh, Indrachowk, Hanuman Dhoka, and back to Basantapur.

After the second day there is no chariot journey for three days. On the fourth day, the final third journey begins from Basantapur, Pyafal, Naradevi, then Kilagal, Bhedasingh, Indrachowk, Hanuman Dhoka, and then finally to Basantapur.

The first and the last day, our King (ruler of the Nepal) used to visit and have the tika from Kumari. But since the republic democracy has been established in Nepal, the Prime Minister attended the ceremony in the place of the king this year. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do as there is a history where in the recent past whith dates back at least two centuries to the last Malla King of Kathmandu, Jayaprakash Malla. He once had intercourse with a pre-pubescent girl and as a result the young girl later died. The king was then told in his dreams to start the institution of the Kumari, worship her and once each year convey her around Kathmandu as penance for his sins. The institution may have existed even earlier and only the custom of the Kumari visiting the city by chariot started at this time. The last Malla king of Kathmandu was defeated on the day of the Kurari festival (Indrajatra) and the first king of the present Shah dynasty received his blessing on that same day as was customary which has now been broken as this year the Prime Minister received the blessings instead of the king.

Anyway, the Indrajatra finally ended after the procession of the chariot was completed, and the installed Yashi was put down and dragged to the Bagmati River.

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