Indra jatra: in an aspect of Bhaktapur

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Almost every single jatra that is celebrated within the Kathmandu Valley has an exciting story. So, does the Indra jatra. However, it differs from city to city, the perspective behind celebrating Indra Jatra.

Essentially, it is the greatest festival for the people of Kathmandu. As in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, the jatra of Machhindranath and Biska is meant as the greatest festival, respectively.

In Kathmandu, the Indra jatra represents a thematically integrated sequence of different circumstances. Like the erection of a towering pole, the Kumari jatra, lakhey dance, plays associated with lord bhairava, and practice of death procession, at very least.

That somehow seems previously endured in Bhaktapur being a specific event. For instance, the towering thing, that is performed in Biska Jatra. The ritual of death procession happens in Gai Jatra. Kumari procession befalls in Mohani. Including various acts and masked dances.

Perhaps, that’s why the Indra Jatra is comparatively quite ignored in Bhaktapur. Instead, within those eight days, some minor and moderate events befall in Bhaktapur. That acceptably is believed as the interval of Indra Jatra. Though, it has very fewer relations with the Lord Indra.

Indra Jatra; in an aspect of Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur, however being the city of festivals holds a very petty portion of the Indra Jatra in it. In which, mainly the four occasions appear in the span, including Yenya Punhi.

Yama Dya; Thanigu

The very first day of the celebratory starts with the Yama Dya; Thanigu. Where a pole is raised in different twa or the toles of the Bhaktapur which firmly indicates the deity of deaths, Yama. From then until the end of the jatra season, people usually go there and worship it. Presuming that it will protect the locals from death.

Indrayani Jatra

On the third day of the procession, devotees pay visits to different Narayan temples. As the day is also posed as the day of Ananta Narayan Puja. The importance of this day is as even as to the day of Tulsi seeding day to the devotees of Narayan.

Besides, the same day hereabouts holds the Indrayani Jatra too. Where, Indrayani is worshiped and paraded as the consort of Lord Indra rather than one of the Astamatrikas. For the procession as well, the image of Indrayani is taken out from its dyo;chhen or the God House. And carried in a cavalcade around the entire city.

Foremost the cavalcade ends at an artificial pond named Ta: Pukhu. That is best known as the Shiddhapokhari. It used to be called Indra Daha in ancient times too.

Now, at the very end of the day, the statue of the Indrayani is left over there, overnight in an open building, a phalcha.

You Dya; Punhi or the Yen: ya punhi

The very next day of the Indrayani Jatra is the day of Yen; ya punhi. That in Bhaktapur is proclaimed as the You Dya; Punhi. Also the day of Shiddhapokhari mela. Devotees, mostly from the nearer villages come to the pool and take bathe. Plus, they worship the image of Indrayani. Which later in the afternoon is returned to its god-house.

Pulu Kisi haigu

On the last day of the Indra jatra spam, there occurs two festivities. The first one, Samsana Bhailadya Jatra, which generally is not associated with the theme of Indra Jatra. Yet, it reflects the references to Yama and to death.

Secondly, the Pulu Kisi haigu, which symbolically ends this assortment of stories. Somehow, it also contains the imputation of the story of Lord Indra.

According to the legends, Lord Indra once was captured by a demon. Due to a false accusation of stealing Parijat flower. Whereas, he was just obeying his mother’s request to bring that flower to her. Afterward, his captured allegation, her mother unaware of such circumstances sent Indra’s vehicle, an elephant to the earth.

Meanwhile to find her son, Indra. The elephant somehow found him and reported about his whereabouts to his mother.

She then immediately appeared on the earth to rescue him. The demon released Indra when his mother gave the demon, the clouds, and fog as a reward. The clouds and fog are unavoidable elements for preserving the rice, which at that time was the most important thing for them. Since it was the season of rice germination.

It is also added to the story that when they were returning to heaven,  some people left a trail of grain on the gods’ path so that they could later find their way to heaven.

When is it celebrated?

As the jatra like Gai jatra, it is also 8 days long celebration. And thus, is celebrated between September and October. Sometimes, in August/September. Similarly, as per the Nepalese calendar, the festival starts from the Bhadra Dwadashi, following seven more days.

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