Seto Machhindranath Jatra: Kathmandu’s grand chariot festival begins with pomp and devotion « Khabarhub
Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Seto Machhindranath Jatra: Kathmandu’s grand chariot festival begins with pomp and devotion

KATHMANDU: Excitement and reverence filled the air as the iconic Seto Machhindranath Jatra, a grand chariot festival in the Kathmandu valley, kicked off on Tuesday.

Known as the ‘Jana Baha Dyah Jatra,’ this three-day procession honors the God of Rain, Seto Machindranath.

At the heart of the celebration is a towering chariot carrying the deity, pulled meticulously from one spot to another over three days.

Devotees from all over gathered at Tindhara Pathsala in Durbarmarg, where craftsmen had been working on the elaborate chariot since last week.

Legend has it that during the rule of Yakshya Malla, the King of Kantipur, a divine event occurred.

People would cleanse themselves in a sacred river and visit the revered Swayambhunath, believed to have the power to guide souls into heaven.

When Yama, the God of Death, learned of this, he was detained by King Malla and his guru. Trapped, Yama sought liberation from Arya Awalokiteshwor (Seto Machhindranath).

In response, the deity advised the king to build a temple and organize a grand procession to bless the people with contentment and longevity.

Thus, the tradition of Seto Machhindranath Jatra began.

The festival spans three days, starting with the ceremonial removal of the Jana Baha Dyah icon from its temple at Jana Baha.

It is then carried in a portable shrine to Durbar Marg, where the procession officially starts. The chariot passes through Jamal and Asan, stopping overnight.

The next day, it moves through Indra Chowk to Kathmandu Durbar Square. On the final day, it travels through Maru, Chikan Mugal to Mugal, circling the Jana Baha Dyo temple three times before returning.

After the procession, the chariot is disassembled, with its parts kept for the next year’s festivities.

The Seto Machhindranath Jatra not only showcases devotion but also highlights the rich cultural heritage and religious fervor of the Kathmandu valley.

Below are some pictures captured by Khabarhub photojournalist Chirayu Shakya:

Publish Date : 16 April 2024 20:21 PM

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