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Modi offers Shodashopachara Pooja at Janaki temple

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Modi offers Shodashopachara Pooja at Janaki temple

JANAKPUR — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is here in Janakpur for two-day state visit to Nepal, has performed the Shodashopachara Pooja at Janaki temple in Janakpurdham.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to offer prayers at the Janaki Temple.

This worship ceremony — with sixteen ritualistic services including tantric mantra recitation — is carried out only by special guests at the Janaki Temple.

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Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to hold such a worship at the temple. During the pooja ceremony, Indian PM Modi worshipped the idol of Hindu Goddess Sita along with the idols of Lord Ram, Laxman and Hanuman at Bivaha Mandap.

Prior to pooja, the worship ceremony was carried out by visiting Indian Presidents Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Gyani Zail Singh and Pranab Mukherjee, according to the temple’s priest Ramatpeshwar Das Vaishnav.

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Indra Jatra begins

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KATHMANDU — Indra Jatra, known as the biggest festival of the Kathmandu Valley, formally began on Friday with the erection of a wooden ceremonial pole (lingo) and the fluttering of a flag named after the Hindu God Indra at Hanumandhoka.

Indra Jatra, one of the biggest festivals of the Newar community, is dedicated to the god of rain and king of heaven, Indra and celebrated for eight days.

The festival formally begins with the erection of a lingo (sacred wooden pole) at Hanumandhoka in Basantapur Darbar Square.

During the celebrations, Lakhe dances are performed on the streets of Kathmandu. The dance is one of the most popular dances of Nepal with performers wearing Lakhe costume and masks.

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There are various mythical stories related to the festival. One such popular story is about Indra who came down to earth to get a special flower parijat and Karkalo (taro) for his mother, who was fasting and worshiping Goddess Basundharadevi.

Upon landing in the Kathmandu Valley, Indra is said to have intruded into a garden to pluck the special flower for his mother. But when the the garden owner found this out, he used Tantrik powers to capture Indra and tied him with ropes in public for humiliation.

Knowing her son is tied up, Indra’s mother came down to the earth and promised the garden owner that she’d provide rain for a better harvest in return for her son.

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