'Rato Machchhindranath Jatra' the longest chariot pulling festival of Nepal that begins from Pulchowk, Lalitpur and ends with Bhoto Jatra at Jawalakhel
Rato Machchhindranath (Bung Dyah) Jatra is known as the longest chariot pulling festival in Nepal. The festival begins with the construction of chariot in Pulchhowk Lalitpur on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bachhala and ends at Jawalakhel taking a long duration in between.
Rato Machchhindranath is revered as a god of good harvest and prosperity and it is believed that paying homage to the Lord brings good luck and fulfills one’s wishes.
Rato Machchhindranath, the 60-feet tall chariot is constructed in Pulchowk every year. After the completion of its construction, they install the idol of Rato Machchhindranath in it and then begin the chariot pulling festival.
On the first day, the chariot is pulled up to Gabahal by a large group of men. The second day it is brought to Mangal Bazar (Patan Durbar Square area). Then it is pulled to Sundhara Chakrabahil, Lagankhel.
As per time-honored tradition, for once, the chariot is pulled by women from Lagankhel Buspark to Thati Tole. This part of the chariot procession is known as 'Yaka Misaya Bhujya'. After this process, the chariot is finally pulled to Jawalakhel.
After the arrival of the chariot to Jawalakhel, astrologers check for an auspicious date for 'Bhoto Jatra' to conclude the longest chariot pulling festival of the country. On the day of Bhoto Jatra, the head of state, a government official climbs on to the chariot and holds up a jewel-studded black vest and concludes the jatra.
Bhoto Jatra is known as a great ceremony of Kathmandu Valley. That's why Newars throughout the valley come to Jawalakhel to observe the festival on their own.