Being the most fascinating and most awaited jatra of Banepa, the Chandeswori jatra is getting more and more exciting. Chandeswori temple, the place where the jatra starts from is one of the main attractions of Banepa city. As per the lunar calendar, the jatra falls in Vaisakha Purnima. Locals celebrate this, Chandeshwori Jatra for two days starting from the day of Vaisakha Purnima.
Somehow, Budhha Jayanti also obtains a place on the same date. Precisely, the day of non-violence (Buddha Jayanti ) and the day of sacred rituals ( Chandeswori Jatra) steps on the same day. However, there is no subtle connection between these two festivals. This jatra is gaining more popularity and attention among the people of the valley and other nearby districts.
Chandeswori jatra in Bhaktapur
Although Chandeswori jatra is widely celebrated in Banepa, its neighboring city Bhaktapur also commemorates the jatra. The holy shrine of Chandeswori Ajima, which lies in Chasukhel Tole of Bhaktapur beholds the dependability of Chandeswori jatra in Bhaktapur. The locals’ inhabitants call this day as Chasu puhni as well in their local tongue. The goddess is known as Chasu Dyo.
As per the Hindu ritual, the jatra starts along with the sacrifice of the animals which is also called Balipuja. After that, people bring the goddess to the Layaku. Layaku is widely popular as Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Then, they carry it along through the houses of the Guthiyars to carry on the balipuja. The chariot reaches up to Tachupal, Lalachen, and many other streets of Bhaktapur. The chariot ends up in the temple again after going around the streets. Therefore, this jatra hitches all people together, residence, or nonresidence of the Bhaktapur. That makes this jatra more auspicious and equally important as other festivals.
The legend behind the Jatra
According to a well-acclaimed legend, the jatra began because of the faith of a king. During the Lichhavi period, there was a king who was a huge devotee of Goddess Chandeswori. He always made a visit to the Chandeshwori temple before having his meal. He never had a meal without visiting the temple. Steadily, the time passed by and he became weak. So, he could not visit there anymore. Because of his inability to visit the temple, he stopped eating.
With magnanimity, the goddess shows a way out for this circumstance, when she knew about the king’s condition. She suggested moving her statue in front of the palace for a certain time so that the king could get a glimpse of the goddess and worship her. To this day, the chariot of Chandeshwori always passes by the royal palace.
Photos by Ram Maka (fotogram) and Ujwol Chandra Buddhacharya
Chandeshwori temple and Jatra :
Khwopa Sa Program run by Bhaktapur Municipality
Chandeswori Jatra 2077
Chandeswori Jatra 2013