If you want to be part of a festival in which hundreds of people (most of them inebriated) are bent on pulling two huge wooden chariots in different directions, then by all means, you are welcome to the famous Bisket Jatra of Bhaktapur. It is celebrated for a few days before, during, and after the Nepali New Year, which this year is from 12th to 18th April 2017. In addition to the gods Bhairab and Bhadrakali on two massive chariots (raths), other gods and goddesses are also enthroned on palanquins and taken in a procession around various localities of the ancient town. The raths are pulled by means of ropes by groups of young men. During the procession, they are set to rest at certain places in the city where the locals come and pay their homage to the deities.
During the festival, two wooden poles (lingos) are erected in two parts of the city. The major one is brought down in the New Year, during which time, the two massive raths are also made to clash with each other. These two events obviously call for a fair degree of pushing and pulling, and this is compounded by the fact that separate groups of local young men vie for the honour of crashing the huge wooden pole to the ground. In the meanwhile, other similarly enthusiastic young men are busy testing their strength by pulling at the raths in a virtual tug-of-war. Bedlam follows. You might well be wondering, what a festival! You might also be wondering how it all started.
Well, Bisket Jatra originated during King Jagajyoti Malla’s reign (1613 to 1637). The good king loved a legend so much that he wished to commemorate it by holding a special festival in its honor every year. The legend in question goes like this: once upon a time, there was a princess who seemed to be cursed—anybody who married her, somehow died on the morning following the honeymoon night itself, and what’s more, it was discovered that the marriage hadn’t been consummated yet in each single case! In this way, several hopefuls lost their lives (uselessly). Then, along came a wise guy who also offered to lay his life on the line by marrying the cursed princess. He, however, had a plan; come what may, he would do nothing (nothing whatsoever) but stay awake on the fateful night. And so, as he lay awake, he noticed a frightening sight—from one of the sleeping princess’ nostrils slithered out a fearsome-looking serpent. Now, our hero, he was not only wise but courageous as well, and with one stroke of his sword, he sliced off the serpent’s head. This ended the turmoil and fear the city dwellers had been under for quite some time. The bringing down of the pole symbolizes victory over evil while the two raths clashing with each other symbolizes consummation of marriage. Nice legend huh? Terrific festival, what?
Nepal |Dec 19, 2014
Juju Dhau is the famous Nepalese made yoghurt found, especially, inside the Kathmandu Valley (Bhaktapur). The word “Dhau” means a sweet yogurt, which is typically prepared by the Newars, an indigenous tribe of Nepal.
Travel Guide |Apr 20, 2022
Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. This trek takes you to the hidden valley of Manaslu “Tsum” which means vivid. This isolated hidden Shangri-la is home to the Tibetan descendant called Tsumbas and remained restricted till 2008.
Trekking |Sep 27, 2016
The Langtang Valley – which is only a stone’s throw away from the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu – is one of the colourful, culturally affluent, and diverse-in-landscape trekking routes in Nepal.
Others |Mar 21, 2022
Transcend around 10 best places to visit in Kathmandu in 10 Photos. Nepal is not just limited to trekking and mountaineering. There is more beyond Annapurna region and Everest region.
Spiritual |Jul 4, 2019
The face of tourism is changing. Once seen solely as a reprieve from the mundane day-to-day life, individuals are now taking vacation opportunities to explore destinations aligned with their spiritual journeys.
Wildlife |Apr 6, 2019
Do you know what makes Nepal one of the most biodiverse countries in the world? Hint: it has something to do with a giant called the Himalayas.
Others |Jun 11, 2020
The worldwide lockdown meant that people like myself who had been working in the tourism sector had no work to do and were forced to stay at home. The lockdown brought an abrupt halt to the daily lives of many people.
Nepal |Sep 18, 2022
Participating in any of festivals in Nepal is an engaging way to learn about the culture and religions, as well as to meet local people. They often bring people out to public spaces for celebrations and include feasts and special foods, as well as important traditional ceremonies.
Tours |Feb 18, 2015
Friday the 2nd of January On Friday morning we started our trip to Panauti at 9 ´clock. The Royal Mountain Travel kindly provided this opportunity to experience to stay two nights and three days at Home stay in Panauti city,
Sustainability |Feb 17, 2021
This is a ten-episode series consisting of short videos that will explore topics related to sustainable tourism in Nepal.
Others |Jun 1, 2015
The news of the earthquake on April 25 shook me terribly, despite being thousands of kilometers away; dreadful photographs and fearful numbers of the consequences did tear down my soul apart.