Indra Jatra is probably the biggest festival in Kathmandu. It is celebrated with great fanfare and rejoicing by the Newar community of the Kathmandu. Locally known as Yenya, which means ‘Kathmandu Festival’ in Newari, the Indra Jatra celebrations consists of two events – Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra. While the former event sees masked dances of deities and demons and displays of sacred images in honor of the deity Indra, the king of heaven, Kumari Jatra is the chariot procession of the living goddess Kumari. The celebration last for eight days in the 11 month of the Nepal Era calendar (August-September).
During the festival, three chariots carrying deities Bhairav, Ganesh and Kumari are taken out through the old settlements of the Kathmandu Valley. Kumari makes public appearance only during this festival. Accompanied by musical troupe, the chariots are pulled by devotees through the narrow alleys. The chariots are carried through the old streets of Kathmandu for three days. On the first day, the chariots are pulled through the southern part of the town. Similarly, on the second day, the chariots are pulled through northern sections of the town till Asan. And on the last day, the chariots are taken through the middle section of the town. Interestingly, the chariots are pulled only by women on the third day.
Our half-day journey begins from the Kumari Ghar, or the house where Kumari – the living goddess lives, in Kathmandu Durbar Square. We select the central route as its passes through old market areas of Kathmandu and hence is livelier. We walk toward Pyaphal which lies at a distance of less than 300 meters. The walk then moves toward Yatkha Nyata and to the Naradevi temple before turning right toward Kilagal and then to Bhedaisngh. The track then turns right toward Indrachowk – one of the oldest market places in Kathmandu. From there, we catch the trail to Makhan to re-enter the Kathmandu Durbar Square and head to Pyaphal behind from a narrow trail behind the Makhan Mahadev Temple, and then to Kumari Ghar.
Our experienced guides will take you to ancient temples, old market places and food joints. This walk offers you an opportunity to get an insight into the daily life of Newar people.
A complete day Itinerary: