Janai Purnima festival being observed

Once not miss in Nepal

Bhaktapur Durbar Square - located at an altitude of 1401 meter above sea level, 20 km east of Kathmandu only is a very unique old town. Bhaktapur municipality divided into 24 traditional locality covers an area of 5 square kilometers. The word Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. Founded in the 12th century by King Ananda Malla, Bhaktapur was the capital city of the Greater Malla Kingdom until the 15th century and was an independent kingdom from then until the 18th century. The last three Malla rulers of Bhaktapur were Jitamitra Malla, Bhupatindra Malla, and Ranjit Malla. These rulers played key roles in building the palaces and temples of Durbar Square.

The city is dotted with pagodas and religious shrines. Bhaktapur is filled with Hindu and Buddhist religious sites and art. Although the population is primarily Hindu, there are nineteen Buddhist monasteries (Vihars). At Indra Varna Madavihar, built in 1671 and located between Durbar Square and Dattatraya Square, visitors can see two lion statues, a Patinga Hiti (water spout), Tantric wood-carved windows, and prayer wheels. There are also many Buddhist monuments and shrines, including Lokeswor Mahavihar, Prasannasheel Mahavihar, Chatu Brahma Mahavihar, Jaya Kirti Mahavihar, Sukra-varna Mahavihar, Dipanker Mahavihar. The Changu Narayan Temple situated on the hillock of Dolagiri to the north of Bhaktapur is one of the oldest temples in Nepal. Changu Narayan is situated at an altitude of 5000 ft. ChnguNarayan temple has its distinct historical and architectural significance. The most authentic and oldest ever inscription is located in the precinct of Changu Narayan. The oldest inscription dated 464 AD is a credited to have been set up by Lichchshavi King Manadeva. The erection of Garuda Piller by Manadeva is expression of his devotion and reverence to Changu Narayan as learnt from the inscription points.

In Durbar Square, we will find the 55-Window Palace, which served as the seat of royalty prior to 1769, the houses of National Art Gallery, with Buddhist Paubha scroll paintings, palm leaf manuscripts, and stone carvings. Just outside the palace, at the entrance to the Taleju Temple Complex is the Golden Gate, the Royal Bath, with its Golden Faucet, the Goddess Taleju. Next to this bell is the Barking Bell, so named because dogs bark to its ring. Also in the Square lies the Yaksheswor Mahadev Temple, it was modeled after the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu and was designed with ornate wooden struts decorated with erotic carvings. Other sites in and around the square include the octagonal Chyasin Mandap, Siddhi Laxmi Temple, Shiva Temple (Fasi-dega), Vatsala Temple, Bhandarkhal Complex, Chatu Brahma Mahavihar, Indrayani Temple, Balakhu Ganesh Temple, Tripura-sundari Temple and the Char Dham symbolizing the four greatest Hindu pilgrimage sites. The Phasi Dega Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, affords expansive views of the entire city.

Once not miss to explore the city of Bhaktapur who is planning to visit Nepal. The beautiful city Bhaktapur is filled with monuments, most terra-cotta with carved wood columns, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs, and open courtyards.

By Asian Hiking Team

Janai Purnima festival being observed

Hindus in Nepal and elsewhere are celebrating Janai Purnima festival on Thursday 2nd August 2012. On the occasion, men from Hindu faith change their Janai, the sacred thread, apart from performing rituals in temples. People also receive Rakshya Bandhan (thread) from the Brahmin priests. The thread is purified by mantras from Vedas and is regarded a symbol of protection, according to Hindu belief.

The Newar community observes the festival as Gunhu Punhi while Gurung and Thakali communities observe Yatung Mela (fair) in the premises of Muktinath temple in Mustang. Exhibition of local goods and horse racing are some of the highlights of the fair.

On the occasion, people consume Kwati- a soup prepared from nine different beans. In the Terai, sisters tie Rakhis to their brother's wrist wishing them a long and prosperous life.

In Kathmandu valley, devotees worship lord Shiva at Pashupatinath and Kumbheswor in Lalitpur. Religious fairs are held in Gosaikunda in Rasuwa and Tribeni in Jumla, among others.

Gosaikund Lake is religious symbol of a Shiva shrine. According to religious belief channel carries water from the lake directly to the tank at the Kumbheshwar Temple in Patan (Kathmandu Valley), 60 km south west. In the occasion of Full Moon Festival, Shamans ("Dhami Jhankris") come from all over Nepal arrive to the lake and have religious dancing and singing ceremony.