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Rato machendraNath Festival: Month-long chariot procession over

  • Bhoto Jatra scheduled for Wednesday

KATHMANDU, JUN 25 - Ending the month-long celebration of Rato Machhendranath Jatra, the chariot of the rain god was taken to Jawalakhel from Lagankhel on Saturday.

The chariot with an idol of Rato Machhendranath deity resembles the god of rain, according to local beliefs.

Saturday’s procession concluded this year’s parade. The chariot was initially taken to Lagankhel via Pulchowk, Gabahal, Mangalbazar and Sudhara. This is the longest as well as the most important festival of Patan that begins with several days of ceremonies and fabrication of a wooden wheeled chariot at Pulchowk.

The chariot carries a 60-feet tall spire fabricated from bamboo poles raised from its all four ends.

With the beginning of the month-long ritual, the chariot is paraded through the streets of Patan for several weeks. The procession moves to Gabahal, Hakha, Sundhara and many other places in Patan. It is taken to Lagankhel, where it rests for over 4 days, finally to Jawalakhel.

According to a legend, Yogi Gorakhnath came to seek alms in Patan but did not receive any from the locals. The furious Yogi forced all the rain-showering serpents under his seat and started meditating. There was no rain in Patan for ages and on the advice of the astrologers and pundits, the king of Patan invited Machhendranath, Gorakhnath’s teacher, in Patan. Learning that his teacher was in Patan, the Yogi went to see him freeing the rain showering serpents from his seat, which led to plenty of rain in the town. “The fourth day of the chariot’s arrival at Jawalakhel is celebrated as Bhoto Jatra on Jawalakhel ground,” said Hari Prasad Joshi, chief of Guthi Sansthan, Patan office. On the day of Bhoto Jatra, that according to Joshi, is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, a bejeweled bhoto (vest) of Machhendranath is displayed before the public and other dignitaries.

Posted on: 2011-06-26 08:31

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