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Spectacular Festival “Bisket Jatra” of Bhaktapur

Bisket Jatra

Bhaktapur, the famous cultural and historical medieval city of Nepal offers the unique festival named Bisket Jatra each year during the month of April. This festival is celebrated for 8 days before, during and after the Nepali New Year (Baisakh 1st) and this year it was begun from 09th April and end up on 16th April 2015. Thousands of people from the Kathmandu valley gathered and celebrate this historical festival of Bhatkapur, where hundreds of people are bent on pulling huge wooden Chariots in different directions and taken to the major localities of the ancient town.

The festival starts with the procession of the chariot of Bhairav from a place called Taumadhi. Mildly inebriated locals pull the chariot through the city as happy crowds mark its progress. As this supreme divinity embarks upon the journey, on this day all the other deities of the city are said to descend from their divine seats. All the temples of Bhaktapur open to the public for viewing and worship throughout the festival. As the festivities come to an end, the deities return again to their respective divine seats. On a first day of the festival, a wooden chariot built in the traditional Pagoda style and with the idols of the chief deity of the Bhairavnath and the Betal deity ensconced inside is towed from the local Panchtaley (5th floored) Temple and taken around the Thaney (upper) and Kwaney (Lower) streets.
Although the chariot procession is a very important event, the people of Bhaktapur engage in celebrations throughout Bisket Jaktra. The city is divided into eight zones, each one presided over by one of the eight forms of the goddess Astamatrika (the ‘eight mothers’). After the first day’s procession, the goddesses are taken around the areas over which they preside. The principal one among them is led throughout the city.

The festival’s origins go back hundreds of years to the medieval age of Nepalese history, a golden age of Nepalese art, craft and architecture. It is believed to have started by the king Jaga Joyti Mall.

According to one legend, every male who married the princess of the city in those mythical times was found dead the morning following the honeymoon night. After a number of grooms lost their lives, one clever suitor decided to stay awake the entire honeymoon night. Soon after his princess fell asleep, a ferocious snake slithered out of a nostril. Acting quickly, he disposed of the monstrous creature with the help of his sword, bringing tremendous joy and relief to the denizens of the city. From then on, they have celebrated this undoing of evil through the ritual crash of chariots symbolizing the consummation of marriage. It might be an amazing festival that you wondering and want to see once in your life time.

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