Ramnavami: Commemorating Lord Rama's Birthday

  •   2018-03-25  |  nepaltraveller.com

Ramnavami is an important festival for Hindus that celebrates Lord Rama's birthday.

Ramnavami is an important festival for Hindus that commemorates Lord Rama's birthday. He was born on the ninth day of Chaitra which lies in March or April. This year the festival lied on 25th of March. It is an important festival to Hindus and is celebrated with huge devotion in Nepal and India. In Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh (the birthplace of Lord Rama), a chariot procession is carried in the streets. In the process, four people take the get up of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and Hanuman. This makes the atmosphere gleesome and exciting. Likewise in Rameshwaram, devotees take a bath and then visit the temple to get blessings from Lord Rama. In Nepal, Janakpur is considered to be an important place to celebrate Ramnavami. During the festival, thousands of pilgrims come to visit Janaki Temple. This temple is considered particularly important because Lord Sita is said to be from Janakpur. 

Although the festival is named after Lord Rama, the festival also includes reverence for Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman because of their importance in the story of Ramayana. People also recite Ramayana during the celebration.   

 

The Ramnavami puja starts early in the morning by praying to the sun. According to Hindu Mythology, the afternoon is supposed to be Lord Rama's birth time, therefore, special prayers are performed in the temples at the afternoon. Devotional songs and hymns are sung after the puja. Devotees chant "Jai Shree Ram- Jai Shree Ram" throughout the day to get blessings from the Lord. Many people also fast during this festival. 

Chaite Dashain – another important Hindu festival also lies around this time. A long time ago, Dashain was celebrated around March-April however people started getting sick because of the change in weather that takes place at this time. This prevented a large number of people from celebrating the festival, hence Dashain now lies around September-October. Both the festivals, Ramnavami and Chaite Dashain is celebrated to remember Lord Rama and his victories. 

There is also a Ram Temple in Kathmandu. The Ram Temple in Kathmandu is situated at Battisputali. The temple was built about 130 years ago by the Rana rulers of Nepal. The temple is inspired by Rajput style. The idols of Ram, Laxman, and Sita are housed inside, whereas the outer premises contain different artistic objects and a famous idol of Hanuman. 

Although built 130 years ago, the idol of Ram dates back to the Lichchhavi period. The temple receives quite a few devotees daily, but it is during the festival of Ramnavami when it truly comes to life. This year was no exception when it came to Ramnavami; with hundreds of people queuing up in a line, waiting for their turn. The temple was also heavily decorated and looked elegant. There was also a Bhajan program that took place inside the temple.

Prarthana Dixit is a content writer for nepaltraveller.com. 

Photographer: Shree Krishna 

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