Nawaratri begins in Nepal, Day One of Bhaktapur Nawaratri: The worship in Brahmayani Temple

21st Sep, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Sep 21: The first day of the Nawaratri of Dashain Festival is celebrated in Bhaktapur with a pilgrimage to the Brahmayani Temple at Taulachhen.

The temple, also called Brahmani, is situated about five minutes east of the Chyamasingh crossing. Though obscure to outside visitors, it is one of the most important temples to Newars based in the Chyamasingh area for various occasions. During the Dashain festival, the temple holds special significance for all Newars of Bhaktapur as the entire sequence of ceremonies starts at Brahmayani Temple.
Each place of pilgrimage during Bhaktapur Nawaratri is associated with a body of water, which may be a river or in some cases a historic man-made pool. The Brahmayani Temple itself is situated near the Brahmayani River, which one has to cross through a bridge to reach the temple from the more populated south side.

The traditional ritual here is to take bath after the worship of Brahmayani goddess, and that particular holy dip made in the Brahmayani River (which is symbolized these days by sprinkling its water over one’s head), and every Newar family takes some sandy earth from the banks of the river to their home which is used to grow the jamara over the ten-day period of Dashain.

The Brahmayani Temple has a relatively expansive temple premises and is situated at the outskirts of town. The Shikhara-style temple is situated at the center of the compound, with a line of brass lamps surrounding it. The compound is closed mainly by sitting areas known as pati pauwa used extensively by worshippers for various purposes.

The Dashain festival sees a lot of animal sacrifice in the temple which is traditionally prepared nearby in the outdoors and served to the family making the offering alongside a traditional Newari meal consisting mainly of beaten rice.