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Kartik Naach also known as “Katti-pyakha”, is the traditional recital performed every year at Mangal Bazar, Kartik Dabali (Da Buu) at the side of Krishna Mandir. It is one of the ancient forms of story-telling through dance and music. The dance depicts the 17 tales of Lord Vishnu and lasts for 30 days.
The festival was started by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla in 1697 for the welfare of his kingdom and people. King Siddhi Narsingh Malla started the dance for 5 days. Later in 1723 BS, Shree Niwas Malla made it 15 days and Yog Narendra Malla added 15 days. It is believed that the dance drama was born out of Malla’s love for arts and was performed to impart moral lessons to his subjects through entertainment.
The dance is a moral tale based on Krishna Leela, a classic story of good triumphing over evil. A month-long dance was performed till 2006 BS. The festival startswith Batha Pyakha, which is performed for three days. It is then followed by different dance forms, where they portray Devi Pyakha and fights between different lords. On the sixth day, Jalasayan is performed where Lord Vishnu is shown lying on the Ananta Sea, the cosmic ocean.
On the final day, the Narasimha avatar of God Vishnu slaying the demon is depicted in the dance drama.
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Day of Baraha Avatar
You can to witness the depiction of Baraha Avatar at Patan Durbar Square in the evening.
The folklore based on Baraha Avatar is performed on the seventh day. The Barah Avatar is said to be Lord Vishnu’s reincarnation as a boar to defeat Hiranyakashipu, a demon who carried the earth to the bottom of the cosmic ocean. Later, Lord Barah, the third incarnation of Lord Krishna had repositioned the earth to its original orbit. All these scenes are shown in the form of dance.
Day of Narasimha Avatar
This day, you will get to witness the depiction of Narasimha Avatar. This dance follows the folklore concerning Lord Vishnu’s reincarnation as Narasimha to defeat Hiranyakashipu. Narasimha dance is said to be the highlight of the festival with all the lights, music and the action.