Published On: October 15, 2019 02:34 PM NPT By: Sangita Shrestha

The reason why ‘Kahi Nabhako Jaatra Hadigaun Maa’ is celebrated


Once in a year, locals of Hadigaun pay homage to Lord Bishnu commemorating ‘Kahi Nabhako Jaatra’ or Satyanarayan Jatra. This unique festival is an age-old tradition and as they say “Kahi Nabhako Jaatra Hadigaun Maa” (there’s no parade like the ones in Handigaun), Hadigaun in Kathmandu is well known for its unique jatras (parades) and cultures.

This annual jatra begins on the second day of Dashain and ends on the last night of Dashain. There is a myth associated with this jatra. According to it, a woman in her labor had once disgraced Lord Bishnu who was disguised in human form.

The woman was crying in labor pain, when Lord Bishnu happened to be walking the same path. Lord Bishnu sympathized with the woman and asked her to chant “Bishnu Bishnu” to ease her pain. But she got annoyed and did not do what was asked for. Feeling insulted, Bishnu then returned to the mountains infuriated at the woman and gave her a curse.

She could not give birth fro 12 years and was so much in pain. To this, the people of Hadigaun decided to call Lord Bishnu for help. Upon reaching him, however, Narayan did not agree to return to the earth.

However, a man convienced the lord that they shall celebrate the biggest jatra if he agrees to come, to which he agreed to visit the town during the jatra. After Lord Bishnu was pleased with the jatra, the woman was finally able to give birth to a boy child. Nevertheless, as the child was born after 12 long years, the newborn had a moustache.

Unlike the chariots in any other jatras, Satyanarayan Jatra has three chariots without the wheels. The devotees carry the chariots on their shoulders. The chariots make a shape of an inverted umbrella on the top, consist of idols of various gods on the top and have the pinnacle at the bottom.

The three chariots (khat) are taken out from Kotal Tole, Nyalma Tole and Bhimsen Tole and are worshipped by the priests before circling Hadigaun three times. Each khat represents Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswora, however, some believe that they represent the woman in labor, her child and her husband.

Each khat is rotated in a clockwise direction by a man sitting at its base while the chariots make a round of Hadigaun. The jatra is believed to invite protection and prosperity to the local inhabitants. The chariots are then left on the streets for the worshippers to pray and are gradually dismantled to be taken out next year, once the rounds are completed.

The locals of Hadigaun celebrate the festival amid much enthusiasm, feasts and cultural dances.


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