Indra Jatra

Indra Jatra
Photo source @ Official website of the Nepal Tourism Board.

The Autumn season is the season of festivals as well, during this season many festivals will that will celebrates in Nepal. The main festivals are Dashain and Tihar. Alongside these festivals, there are other festivals like Indra Jatra in Kathmandu. This festival is one of the most exhilarating and respected festivals of the Newar people of Kathmandu. In the Newari It language, it’s called Kenya means Kathmandu celebration. 

This eight days long celebration takes place in Kathmandu and it will celebrate memories of the last demise of family members. Indra Jatra festival begins with the erection of a strong wooden pole at the compound of the Basantapur Durbar Square. While erecting the wooden pole there will be hundreds of local people will gather at Palace Square. The whole area of Basantapur will be full of people during this festival for the entire 8 days. 

The main attraction of the Indra Jatra festival is the living goddess Kumari and the traditional mask dance Lakhay. Also the another attention of this festival is large image of Akash Bhairab in the Indra chowk. Goddess Kumari will be present in the Chariot and the Chariot will be pull by the people through the main streets. Each evening the streets are full of people with drums and the loud noises of drums. And they will perform the Mask Dance with the sound of the drums. 

As the legend regarding Indra Jatra Festival, the lord Indra visited Kathmandu Valley in human form. To pick the flowers that his mother Basundhara wanted to use in a ritual. While picking the flowers he was caught by the people of Kathmandu, and then accused him of stealing the flower. When Basundhara knew about the incident she descended from heaven to Kathmandu to release her son Indra. Then she let know everyone the captive person is non other than the God Indra. After know that, promptly Indra was released.

After releasing his son, Dagini Thanked to the people and offered she will help the people. By making sure the crops and dew each day and she would also take people who died the previous year will to heaven. Since then people were happy and they celebrated the Indra Jatra every year, exactly at the same time as this incident happened. This festival is the backbone of the culture and tradition of Kathmandu Valley and the Newari Community. 

Overall, Indra Jatra festive is one of the significant cultural richness of Kathmandu Valley. During this festival, the living goddess Kumari and Mask dance performance is the main attractions. This is a week-long festival related to the God of heaven Indra and his mother. Also, it’s about the good harvest and production of the Kathmandu Valley. 

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