Priest paints on the idol of Idol Rato Machhindranath, god of rain at Machhindra Bahal in Lalitpur on Monday, April 20, 2020. Photo: Dipesh Shrestha/ Republica
KATHMANDU, April 22: Rato Machhindranath is worshipped as the god of rain. According to legends, it is believed to have been brought to Kathmandu from Kamaru Kamakhya, India. Chariot of this deity is pulled with much fanfare during the chariot festival that is attended by a huge crowd in Kathmandu.
The idol of Rato Machhindranath is painted in red representing human facial features. It is painted every year, after erasing the artwork of the previous year.
The art that was made in the previous year should be erased using gokul dhup (a kind of incense). Mud brought from Myhepi on an auspicious day is smeared on it. The idol is painted with simrik (vermilion powder). White colour and kaajal, made from burnt cotton wicks, are used to color the eyes.
The body is painted at last. The idol of Rato Machhindranath is required to be painted every year as its shape and structure gets damaged during chariot pulling ceremony. It takes almost a week to paint the statue.
Here are some amazing photos, taken by our photojournalist Dipesh Shrestha on Monday, during this year’s painting rituals.