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Nepal’s biggest cultural event ‘Rato Machhindranath’ chariot procession starts today

KATHMANDU: The chariot procession of the god of good harvest and rain, Rato Machhindranath chariot, regarded as the biggest cultural and religious event of Nepal’s capital city Patan, Lalitpur will start on Wednesday.
The pulling of the chariot will start from Pulchowk at 4 pm today.
The chariot procession will begin with the placing of the Machhindranath idol at the sanctum of the chariot, having big four wooden wheels on Sunday.
The wheels and the chariot were prepared at Pulchowk.
On the first day of chariot procession, the chariot will be brought at Gabahal.
Then, the chariot will pass through various places such as Mangalbazaaar, Sundhara, Chakrabahil, Lagankhel, Gabahal before finally reaching at Jawalkhel.
It takes hundreds of hands even to make the chariot move slightly.
The chariot of the Red Machhindranath is the highest one in the nation is pulled with the support of big ropes from the left and right.
The massive wheels are painted with eyes. There is a certain route set for this chariot to move around.
After reaching at Jawalakhel, the final celebration, called the Bhoto Dekhaune, or exhibition of the vest worn by the Lord Machhindranath, will be staged.
Many people visit the Patan to celebrate the festival and worship the idol of Machhindranath during the chariot procession.
The people of Patan invite relatives to enjoy the festival that marks the culmination of the procession at Jawalakhel.
During the whole month of procession, the women are allowed to pull the chariot for only one occasion and the day is known as the “women’s festival”.
This festival, according to some historians, was introduced by King Narendra Deva, an ardent follower of Rato Machhindra , also known as Karunamaya, in 879 A.D.
About 50-feet high towering structure has been made for the fascinating four-wheel chariot. (File Photo: Sadrishya)

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