"Celestial Revelry: The Enchanting Festival of Chariots, Masked Dances, and the Living Goddess Kumari in Nepal" - Holy Land Adventure Tours and Travels

“Celestial Revelry: The Enchanting Festival of Chariots, Masked Dances, and the Living Goddess Kumari in Nepal”

“Indra Jatra, an eight-day-long festival in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley which is celebrated around the end of the September month normally on the date of 28 September , is a vibrant celebration steeped in cultural and religious significance. Commencing with the erection of a wooden pole at Basantapur Square, the festival marks the onset of autumn’s month-long festive season.

The festival reaches its peak on the day before the full moon when crowds eagerly gather near Hanuman Dhoka Palace for the Living Goddess Kumari’s chariot procession. This revered Newar girl, deified as Kumari and representing Goddess Taleju, captivates onlookers as her chariot, accompanied by smaller chariots bearing representations of Ganesh and Bhairav, navigates through the narrow alleys of old Kathmandu.

The festivities continue with the masked dancers, known as Lakhay, parading through the streets each evening, accompanied by the rhythmic beats of drums. The festival commemorates the mythical descent of Lord Indra in human form, and each night, shrines and ancient palace buildings around Kathmandu Durbar Square are illuminated with oil wicks.

On the platform in front of the Living Goddess’s temple, enactments portray the ten earthly incarnations of Lord Vishnu, adding a cultural richness to the celebration. The grandeur concludes with the lowering of the lingam pole bearing Indra’s flag amidst solemn religious ceremonies.

Indra Jatra, with its chariot processions, masked dances, religious enactments, and illuminating displays, showcases the essence of Nepal’s cultural heritage and provides a unique opportunity to witness the convergence of spirituality, tradition, and community celebration.”