Indra jatra Festival – Culture
29 September 2012
Place to observe: starts from Kathmandu Durbar Square (Basundhara)
The festival of Indra, the God of rain, is observed with great enthusiasm in Kathmandu Valley. The festival lasts for eight days. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in procession through the main streets of Kathmandu. The festival is specially noted for the echoes of drums and dancing feet of the masked dancers almost every evening.
It is believed that many centuries ago, Indra (King of heaven)’s mother needed specially scented flowers (Parijat). Indra looked for them but couldn’t find in heaven. Indra discovered Parijat flowers in the Kathmandu Valley and tried to steal them for his mother. He was caught and imprisoned by the people in the Valley.
Indra’s mother came searching for him and the people were shocked to know what they had done. They released Indra and dedicated one of the most colourful festivals of Nepal to him to calm down his anger. Tis festival last for eight days with singing, mask dancing and jubilation. The chariot of Kumari, the living goddess along with chariots of Bhairab and Ganesh are taken through the main streets of Kathmandu with much fanfare. Masks and statues representing Vishnu, Bhairab and Shiva are shown to the public. Various masked dances like Pulu kishi (elephant dance), Lakhe, Sawa Bhaku and Mahankali dances are performed at various places. Indra is thanked for the rains and assured once again that he is respected in the Kathmandu Valley.
VO’YE – A traditional Newari Feast blessed by Lord Shiva.
Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boechhen, Kathmandu
Organisers: Powerful Hands
During Indra Jatra (the Festival of the Lord Indra), the journey of the Chariots of the Kumari (Living Goddess), Lord Ganesh, and Bhairab journey through a special route in the city. This ends in a grand Newari Feast. In this event, you get an opportunity to both walk along with the chariots in this route which is a little over 2 kms and also participate in a special feast.
Why this trip?
1. We are trying to preserve the rich Newari Traditions of the Kumari, and the Vo’ye – the traditional feast.
2. We will be supporting Maa Pucha – a women Self Help Group who have will be preparing the food and also serving the food.