Indrajatra Begins

The annual festival of Indrajatra has officially started from Saturday with erection of a long wooden pole at Hanumandhoka called Indradhwojnthan.
The eight-day-long religious festival began by offering prayers to the pole at 6.51am in the morning.
The leading figure of the Manadhar community erected the pole at the auspicious time amid the gathering of devotees. Gurujyu Paltan, a group of musicians, played musical instruments during the ceremony.
The idol of Lord Indra is been placed at the bottom of the pole, and will remain there for eight days.

Classical dancers gather at the spot where the pole is erected, wearing different kinds of traditional masks and costumes and dance around. The festival is devoted to the Lord Indra and is marked by singing, mask-dancing and other joyous cultural shows.
Indrajatra falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon in the month of Bhadra every year as per the lunar calendar. It is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and revelry in the three districts of the Kathmandu Valley.
Indra, the Hindu god of rain and good harvest, is worshipped during the festival by both the Hindus and Buddhists. The wooden pole is brought from Chittapole in Bhaktapur district. The pole is called Yasi in Newari language.

The age-old Indrajatra festival has been celebrated since 882 Nepal Sambat, during the reign of King Jaya Prakash Malla. But, the tradition of erection of Indradhwojnthan began from the Shah rule during the reign of Pratap Singh Shah, the son of Prithivi Narayan Shah.

The large image of Akash Bhairab’s head is put on display in the open directly facing his temple at Indra Chowk for eight days.
Masked dance, known as Mahakali and Ramchandra Pyakha, also started from today and is performed every evening at Haunumandhoka accompanied by loud drums and other musical instruments. The festival also highlights the classical dances.

Swet Bhairav depicts the most dangerous face of Lord Shiva, located at Hanumandhoka, which is mostly kept hidden inside a wooden curtain throughout the year but has been opened now to celebrate the festival.

Source : TRN,