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Preparations for Gaura festival begin in Far West Nepal

Bimal Bahadur Bista, DOTI: People in the Far West State have geared up for the celebration of Gaura Festival. Gaura is taken as a major religious and cultural festival reflecting the ancient civilization of the Far West. ‘Gaura Homes’ in villages are being daubed and villagers are prepared themselves to restore and clean roadways damaged during monsoon.
The cleanliness of temples where the Gaura concluding rituals will take place has begun. It seems the festive mood has caught every village and settlement in Doti. The festive fervor has been seen in Far West’ hilly districts: Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Darchula, Achham, Bajhang and Bajura as well. Dinesh Bahadur Malla of Jorayal rural municipality-4, Doti shared that preparations for the Gaura have already begun here.
Those residing outside hometowns have started making journey back to homes for the festival celebrations. Traffic Police Post Budar’s traffic police Keshab Khadka said public vehicles en route to hilly districts in the Far West are full of passengers these days as the Gaura festival is just ahead. The festival is celebrated with more fanfare and enthusiasm than the Dasain and Tihar festivals here.
Pipallla Bazar serving as the major trade center in Dipayal is welcoming a large number of people arrived here to purchase goods and new clothes for the festival. According to Harish Fancy’s owner Nar Bahadur Khadka, people’s movement has significantly increased.
As per the lunar calendar, this year the festival falls on August 23. It remains as a common festival of each community, class and regions in the Far-West which strengthens unity amidst diversity, said senior citizens.
The festival which is believed to be in existence since ancient times is observed commemorating the dedication and a rigorous fast by Hindu Goddess Parbati also worshipped as the Gauri to get Lord Mahadeva as her spouse. It is celebrated with specific rituals. The message about the commencement of the festival is given through the performance of Deuda dance by men in temples where festival’s concluding rituals will be conducted.
Doti Shaileshwori Temple’s priest Prem Shankar Bhatta defines Gaura as the festival carrying socio-cultural identity of the entire Far West. The festival rituals primarily include the Deuda dance and song and the preparation of Biruda by mixing five types of grains which is made into form of a ball to offer to the Goddess Gauri ( Parbati).
Local levels here have planned to organise the Deuda competition on the occasion of the Gaura. RSS

Indian pilgrim Archana Jayprakash dies of attitude sickness in Nepal
RASUWA: An Indian pilgrim to the Lake Manasarovar died of altitude sickness. According to the District Police Office, Rasuwa spokesperson Gokarna Thapa, the dead is a woman and has been identified as Archana Jayprakash Mishra, 55, from India. She breathed her last on Chinese territory on Sunday, August 18 as she was on the way to the Mansarovar which lies near Mount Kailash in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
Her body was brought to Nepal via the Rasuwagadhi point at 11.20 am today and post-mortem examinations will be conducted at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu.
With this, the number of Indians succumbing to high altitude sickness during their religious journey to the Manasarovar has reached three in the past one month.

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