The History of Manakamana Temple

The History of Manakamana Temple

The mythical history of the Manakamana goddess dates back to the reign of King Ram Shah of Gorkha. Every night, the king’s wife would awake and make her way to a nearby hill. Upon finding his kingly bed empty, Ram Shah decided to feign sleep and follow his queen on her nightly sojourn. He soon found himself outside a large hall, guarded by two massive lions. Inside, the hall was lined with various gods and goddesses, waiting for the queen to chair their heavenly meet. Struck with the fact that his queen was possessed of divine power, the king returned home with a heavy heart.

The next morning, he informed his wife of all he had witnessed, claiming that he had seen it all in a dream. No sooner had he revealed his discovery, Ram Shah was struck dead. Back then, the practice of a wife committing Sati by throwing herself on the funeral pyre of her husband was very much in vogue. However, Ram Shah’s personal secretary Lakhan Thapa Magar pleaded with the queen not to go through with the practice. The queen, however, assured Thapa Magar that she would return.

Months after the death of the king and queen, Thapa Magar heard of a stone discovered by a farmer ploughing his field. When struck by the plough, the stone began to leak a profusion of blood and milk. Thapa Magar rushed to the area and believing the stone to be an incarnation of the dead queen, built a temple there and began to serve the goddess Manakamana. Unlike other Hindu temples, where Brahmins are the priests, the Manakamana temple is served exclusively by the descendents of Lakhan Thapa Magar, who are now in their 17th generation.

Vijaya Dashami today, 11:29 auspicious for Tika

Hindus across the country and abroad, have been celebrating Vijaya Dashami, the tenth and the most important day of the Dashain festival, on Wednesday by receiving Tika and Jamara as the token of Goddess Durga along with the blessings from their elders.

To mark the day, people visit their families and relatives to receive Tika—a mixture of rice, yogurt and vermillion—and Jamara—seedlings of wheat and other corns sown on Ghatasthapana and grown in dark for nine days. According to Nepal Panchanga Deciding Committee, the most auspicious time to put Tika is 11:29 am. Generally, the head of the family puts Tika on others. This function continues for four more days. Dashain ends on the full moon day, the fifteenth day, which is also observed as Kojagrata.

Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival of Hindus in Nepal. Even some Buddhists join the merriment. Goddess Durga is worshipped in all her manifestations throughout Dashain , commemorating the victory of the gods over the demons. Meanwhile, President Ram Baran Yadav will offer tika to general public from 12.30 pm today on the occasion of the Dashami festival. According to the President's office, the gate of Shital Niwas would remain open until 5.00 pm today for receiving Tika.

Hindus greatest Dashain Festival Start

Hindus biggest festival “DASHAIN” is start from 16 Oct. 2012. Dashain is the most important festival on the Nepal calendar and is a most interesting event to witness. This is the biggest and longest festival on the Nepali calendar and it is celebrated by virtually every person in Nepal, regardless of their social caste. The entire festival lasts approximately fifteen days and is a riot of color, festivity and religious rites. The festival is said to be held in honor of the gods' victory over wicked demons. Legend has it that the god Ramayan was only able to kill Ravana, the king of the demons, when the goddess Durga was evoked. Thus the goddess Durga plays a pivotal role in the celebrations and the entire event is seen as a celebration of good over evil.

16 Oct is the first day of festival is called Ghatasthapana, all homes in Nepal are cleaned, painted and decorated to encourage the mother goddess to visit and bless the household. On this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolizing goddess Durga often with her image embossed on the side is placed in the prayer room. The kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cow dung on to which seeds are sown. A small rectangular sand block is made and the kalash is put in the centre. The surrounding bed of sand is also seeded with grains. The Ghatasthapana ritual is performed at a certain auspicious moment determined by the astrologers. At that particular moment the priest intones a welcome, requesting goddess Durga to bless the vessel with her presence.

22 Oct and 23 Oct eight and nine days of festival, thousands of animals such as goats, chickens, ducks, sheep and water buffalo are prepared for the sacrificial slaughter. During the course of the festival the blood of all these animals will be poured out for a ritual holy bathing that glorifies the goddess Durga. During the first nine days of the festival - the period during which Durga supposedly fought the demon Mahisasur - is a period of worship. On the 23 Oct, the Taleju temple at Hanuman Dhoka is opened to the public - the only time during the year that this occurs. Thousands of people visit the temple on this day and thousands of animals are sacrificed to honor Durga and seek her blessing.

On 24 Oct the festivities settle a bit and the focus turns towards family. Elders visit each home and bless the family members - some of which have come from far away to receive this blessing. Even the president receives this blessing and the entire process takes about four days.

On the 29 Oct, the last day - the people of Nepal settle down to rest. The very next day the shops are open once again and life in Nepal returns to normal.

World’s largest Thanka to be displayed

The world’s largest ‘Thangka’ painting is to be put on an exhibition in Nepal on October 5 and 6. Information about this was given at a press conference organized by the Nepal Buddhism Preservation Committee.

The painting was a collective creation of 10,000 volunteers from 16 countries in the world. Earlier, the painting depicting 12 important happenings related to the lifestyle of the Lord Gautam Buddha was displayed in USA, Japan, Mongolia and India. The painting weighing 100 kgs was based on the concept of Dr Surya Thakali and after exhibition; it will be displayed in Thailand next year.

Although the painting was made aiming at placing it in Lumbini, Nepal, it is to be taken to Japan due to lack of physical infrastructure here. The painting has been divided into 81 pieces and it takes around two hours to join them for the display.It is said the painting will be brought here until this evening. The objective of putting the painting on display is to spread the message of peace, fraternity and hospitality in Nepal which is presently witnessing violence and gripped by problematic situation, said the Committee.
The exhibition will be held at the Dasharath stadium and the entry is free of charge, said the organizers. RSS

5th Nat’l Tourism Fair kicks off

The fifth National Tourism Fair 2013 kicked off here at Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall, Kathmandu from Friday with an aim to promote tourism destinations and products.

Inaugurating the three-day tourism fair, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Ram Kumar Shrestha informed that the internal preparation for the purchase of two aircraft for the operation of international flight is almost completed.

As the infrastructure development is must for the development of tourism industry in the country, Minister Shrestha opined that the purchase two such aircraft would be vital for the development the sector.

Tourism entrepreneurs from around the country and representatives of tourism development committees, various associations, tourism colleges, home stays and other concerned organisations are participating in the three-day event, according to organizer Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Source RSS reports.

Bhaktapur City preparing for Bisket Jatra

The stage is all set for the Bisket Jatra festival here in the ancient town of Bhaktapur, state-owned news agency RSS reports.

The Bisket Jatra is a famous festival with cultural and historical significance which commences with the start of the Nepali New Year, every year. It is celebrated for eight nights and nine days. This year, the festival begins on April 10. The Bisket Jatra is among the many cultural and religious festivals celebrated in the country.

On the first day of the festival, the chief deity, Bhairavnath, and the Betal deity are installed on a three-storey temple built in the Pagoda style mounted on a chariot. This chariot is then towed from the premises of the Five-storey Temple to the ancient Thane (Upper) and the Kwane (Lower) streets of the town. The festival formally commences with the pulling of the chariots of the Bhairavnath and the Bhadrakali deities.

The date and timing of the Bisket Jatra festival is determined as per the solar calendar. This festival has been celebrated since the time of the Lichchhavi period. The festival gets its name from the two words Bi Sit in the Nepal Bhasa language which translates as 'the snake is dead'. Source RSS reports.