Indrajatra; an introduction
Today, on September 19, 2021 the residents of Kathmandu Valley are celebrating the festival of the King of Heaven, Indra. There are various stories on how the festival named Indrajatra had started in the valley.
One of the most popular stories goes like – Once, god Indra was trying to steal the parijat flower in Kathmandu for his mother. When locals saw Indra picking flower without asking, they tied him up and made a jatra out of him. They dragged the thief and took him to the king.
In the heaven, when her son didn’t show up, Indra’s mother Basundhara descended in search of her son. She saw Indra’s vehicle, Yarawat, an elephant in one corner of the city. She asked where Indra was. They both went in search of Indra. When they find him, Basundhara promised fog and dew in Kathamndu and took Indra with her.
Based on this story, an elephant dance is performed in Kathmandu street and is named – Puli Kishi. There are other stores about the Lakhe dance and Kumari jatra.
On Indrajatra, the head of state visits Hanuman Dhoka to meet Kumari, the living Goddess and witness other festivities.
Indrajatra runs for eight days. On the first day a pole is erected in Hanumandhoka palace area to mark the start of the festival. During those days, people worship the god of rain and prosperity, Indra and Bhairav. Lakhe dance is one of the most interesting aspects of the festival.
There is a love story about the Lakhe – something like a beauty and the beast type of story:
The Ganesh Chauthi is also believed to be the related festival:
Happy Indrajatra to everybody.
Erecting of the pole to mark the start of the festival:
Lakhe dance is one of the most popular attractions of the festival:
Swet Vairav and a tap coming out of his mouth. Liquor is poured out of the pipe and people rush to get it in their mouth:
Photos are borrowed from social media.