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Bisket Jatra begins in Bhaktapur

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BHAKTAPUR – The historic  Bisket Jatra began in Bhaktapur today, flagging that the New Year according to the Nepali calendar is on the horizon.

The annual festival with a tantric significance is believed to have begun in the Lichhavi era.

Priest Ganesh Karmacharya offered prayers to Bhairavnath deity following which the deity was worshipped in all streets of the ancient city until 8 am today. The Bhairavnath and Bhadrakali deities will be placed in their respective chariots in the afternoon following different phases of worship and offerings, after which the chariots will be towed by devotees.

The Bisket Jatra which starts four days before the Nepali New Year lasts for five more days afterwards. It is hence celebrated for eight nights by the locals of Bhaktapur.

The first day will see the chariot of Bhairavnath being pulled by devotees which continues in the coming days.

The police administration has tightened the security for the festival.

A total of 2,000 security personnel from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) including those in plain clothes will beef up the security, according to Superintendent of Police, Kiran Bajracharya.

The intersections within the city have been fitted with CCTVs to watch anyone involving in untoward activities.

The chariot’s pathway has been punctuated by old houses standing with the support of poles following damages in the massive earthquake of April 25, 2015 – due to which the chariot pulling route has been shortened.

Guthi Sansthan Bhaktapur Chief, Leknath Sapkota, said a total of Rs 2.6 million would be spent for the festival.

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The famous lingo (wooden pole) with the God Indra’s flag fluttering at the top end will be erected on April 12 and felled next day.

It is believed that witnessing the Jatra, which is also called Satruhanta Jatra, will rid one of enemies.

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Devotees throng Pashupatinath on Maha Shivaratri

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KATHMANDU — Devotees from various places of the country and neighboring India have thronged Pathupatinath Temple since early Tuesday morning to offer prayers on Maha Shivaratri.

All four doors of the temple were open at 3:15 for the devotees to pay homage to Lord Shiva, said director of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Bhola Sitaula.

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Arrangements have been made for the devotees to enter the main temple from three doors (a door in the south of Pingalasthan, another in the west of Jayabageshwori-Bhuvaneshwori, and the third from Mitrapark-Umakunda-Basuki), he said.

The devotees are supposed to exit from the same door they have entered, said another PADT official. Approximately 1.3 million devotees are estimated on the festival this year, he said.

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