Indrajatra commences with installation of Indradhwoja

3rd Sep, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Sep 03: A wooden pole bearing the 'Indradhwoja' at its top end has been erected in front of Hanumandhoka here today, on the second day of the waxing moon in the month of Bhadra, amidst the religious rituals.

[caption id="attachment_8383" align="alignnone" width="968"] Hindu devotees hoist the 'Lingo' wooden pole, a symbol of unity, victory and power, on the first day of the Indra Jatra festival at Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu on September 3, 2017.
The eight-day festival celebrates Indra, the king of gods and god of rains. During this festival, Kumari, the living goddess, is also taken around parts of the capital city in a religious procession. / AFP PHOTO / Prakash MATHEMA[/caption]

The installation of the Indradhwoja heralds the Indrajatra festival, the traditional festival of the Kathmandu Valley. Indradhwoja is a tuft of the colourful shreds of cloth that is tied at the top of the pole.

The Hindu deity Bhirava is worshipped at the foot of the pole while erecting it. The Indrajatra festival is celebrated to symbolize victory over enemy.

The Indrajatra festival is dedicated to Indra, the god of rain and good harvest. It is observed two days after the installation of the symbolic Indradhwoj.

Indrajatra festival is celebrated in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavrepalanchok, Dolakha among other places.

The festival is celebrated for eight days organizing various cultural and religious dances, chariot processions and worshipping gods and goddesses.

The dances performed in course of the festival include the Bhakkunach, the Mahakalinach, the Lakhenach, the Dasawatarnach and the Pulukisinach.

The pole used for the Indradhwoj is made from the particular tree touched by a billy goat that is anointed as per the tantrik rituals and left in the forest at Nala in the neighbouring Kavre district.

The tree is felled and branches chopped off to make a pole which is brought to Kathmandu at an auspicious time determined by astrologers. This pole is kept at Bhotahity in Kathmandu overnight after it is brought to Kathmandu.

The pole is brought down on the last day of the festival.