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Kirtipur Jatra For Stronger Brotherhood
KATHMANDU, Nov 30: All parades and chariot-pulling festivals celebrated across Kathmandu have their own special cultural and historical importance, while the participants of such fests take away happiness and rejuvenation. One such vivacious festival is celebrated in Kirtipur called Kirtipur Indrayani Jatra.
Moreover, this chariot procession of Goddess Indrayani is a part of Nhegan Jatra or Satgaule Jatra, which means festival celebrated in seven different places. They are Kirtipur, Panga, Nagaun, Satungal, Machhegaun, Joshi Gaun and Lohokho. This year, the festival began on Monday. The annual festival is celebrated amid much fanfare, while hundreds of people from around the valley come to witness the festival every year.
Explaining the reason behind the celebration cultural expert Shree Krishna Maharjan, a Kirtipur local, said, “The jatra is a celebration of victory over evil and it is also the symbol of brotherhood.”
According to him the festival was celebrated during the period of Malla King Ratna Malla, which is in ‘Devmala Banshawali’. He informed, “During the period of Ratna Malla, the festival was celebrated to cherish brotherhood among seven different places which are the border areas. The festival was a way to bond among the people of these seven places.”
Narrating the legend behind the celebration of Indrayani Jatra in Kirtipur he said, “It is said that a demon resided in Kirtipur and it used to eat humans of the village. Hence, one member from each house used to be sacrificed for the welfare of the village until it was the turn of an old couple. At that time a prince came to their house in the need of shelter. The couple gave him shelter for the night and when he learned that one of them are going to the demon to be killed. The prince requested the couple to let him go. And the prince who was actually Goddess Indryani killed the demon helped the village get rid of that demon. So the festival is celebrated till today in the memory of that victory.”
Moreover, people from 12 different areas are responsible for Indrayani Jatra where Newar community of different castes—Shrestha, Maharjan, Kapali, Mali and Khadgi, among others--gather together and each has a specific responsibility in the festival, as per Shree Krishna.