Jatras in Kathmandu

At least 130 major monuments, along with several other Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites, may be found in Kathmandu Valley, which is at the crossroads of ancient civilizations from the Indian subcontinent and the larger Asian continent. The valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tourists flock to Kathmandu Valley for its distinctive architecture and diverse culture, which includes Nepal's largest number of Jatras (street festivals). Today, we'll talk about the Kathmandu valley's top Jatras. We'll do one Jatra each from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan in the Kathmandu Valley for this.

The top three Jatras that are celebrated in Kathmandu are as follows,

  1. Indra Jatra

Indra Jatra is one of Kathmandu, Nepal's most important religious street celebrations. In Nepal Bhasa, Indra Jatra is known as Yeny, where Ye denotes "Kathmandu" and Ya denotes "celebrate," implying "festival within Kathmandu." The two main ceremonies of this festival are Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra. Masked dances of deities and demons, sacred image displays, and tableaus in honor of the deity Indra, the king of heaven, are all part of the Indra Jatra. The live goddess Kumari is paraded in a chariot at Kumari Jatra. From the 12th day of the brilliant fortnight to the 4th day of the dark fortnight of Yala, the eleventh month of the lunar Nepal Era calendar, the celebrations last for eight days. 

Although the festival is held all around Kathmandu, the Kathmandu Durbar Square is the major location. The celebration has been around since the 10th century. To commemorate the establishment of Kathmandu, King Gunamkamadev established Indra Jatra. Kumari Jatra, a festive event that dates back to the mid-eighteenth century, has become a staple of the festivities. It began in 1756 AD, under Jaya Prakash Malla's reign, according to historians.

  1. Bisket Jatra

Bisket Jatra is one of Bhaktapur's most important festivities. On the Bikram Sambat calendar, the celebration occurs at the beginning of the new year; nevertheless, the festival is unrelated to the Bikram Sambat. Though the festival is held all around Bhaktapur, the primary venues are Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Thimi Balkumari. Hundreds of people drag a chariot to the Kholle tole bearing a monument of the God Bhairava. The Nyatapola temple is where the chariot is assembled (commonly known as the Five Stair Temple).

The tug-of-war between the Thane (upper) and Kone (lower) parts of town is the primary event of the festival hosted at Bhaktpur Durbar Square, while Balkumari Thimi organizes a color festival (Sindhur Jatra). People scatter simrik color powder and play Dhimay music to celebrate and exchange greetings. One famous festival takes place in Bode, an old Newari city in the Kathmandu Valley's east corner. A tongue-piercing ceremony is witnessed by Bode. One city dweller spends his days with an iron spike piercing his tongue and roams the streets with many flaming torches slung over his shoulder. Juju Bhai Shrestha is the town's most famous tongue piercer.

  1. Rato Machindranath Jatra

Also known as Buga Dya Jtr in Nepal Bhasa, Rato Machindranath Jatra is a chariot procession held in Lalitpur, Nepal, to honor the Buddhist compassion deity Avalokitesvara. It is one of the city's most important religious festivals, as well as the country's longest chariot festival. Rain-giver Rato Macchindranath is venerated. The term Rato refers to the color red, which is how the deity's depiction is colored. It begins on the 4th day of the brilliant fortnight of Bachhala, Nepal's seventh lunar month. King Narendra Dev, who reigned between 640 and 638 AD, started it.

The chariot parade begins in Pulchok and concludes in Jawalakhel, passing via Gabahal, Mangal Bazar, Hakha, Sundhara, Chakrabahil, and Lagankhel. The celebrations come to a close with the Bhoto Jatra ceremony, which involves the presentation of the Bhoto, a traditional Nepalese vest.

The Kathmandu valley's three major religious festivals are Indra Jatra, Biska Jatra, and Rato Machindranath Jatra. The Kathmandu Valley is a historic metropolis made up of three historical kingdoms: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. These festivals are the essence of traditions and cultures that have been passed down from generation to generation and carry on the most important occasions of our country.