Kathmandu: The Indradhwajatthan ritual took place in the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square area this morning, marking the commencement of the Indrajatra festival.
The event is observed on the 12th day of the bright half of the month of Bhadau in the lunar calendar each year.
The ritual of installing a specially anointed wooden pole called the Indra Dhwaja or ‘lingo’ was held at the auspicious hour of 7:17 am as advised by the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.
With this, Indrajatra, the cultural festival that is celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley has formally begun.
The festival majorly will commence on coming Friday, September 9. The chariot processions of Shree Kumari, Shree Ganesh and Shree Bhairav will be held as part of the Indrajatra festival.
According to Committee executive director Surya Prasad Dhungel, the auspicious time for pulling down the pole is 7:33 pm on September 14.
The customary tradition is that the Head of State will visit the Hanumandhoka following bringing down of the Indradhwaj and receive Prasad.
The celebrations last for eight days.
Meanwhile, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, described the festival as the major cultural attraction of Nepal.
The Minister, who was present at Hanumandhoka to witness the commencement of the festival, was of the view of promoting various tangible and intangible cultures and aspects of the area for touristic purposes.
The festival has its own essence and significance due to its distinct features, according to the Minister.
Stating that Nepal’s culture, customs, traditions and lifestyles are unique and capable of catching hearts and minds of tourists, the Minister said he plans to come up with a scheme connecting culture and heritages with tourism for the improvement of people’s livelihood.
During the eight-day festival, Indra, the Hindu deity of rain and good harvest, is worshipped.