Seto Machindranath Jatra

  • Day Tours Nepal
  • Last Updated on Apr 17, 2024

Seto Machindranath Jatra is a spectacular event that takes place every spring in Kathmandu as the days become longer and the promise of rain lingers in the air. This three-day chariot festival is a colourful showcase of Kathmandu's rich cultural heritage and pays homage to the rain god, Seto Machindranath.

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The Chariot Procession of Seto Machindranath: A Journey for Rain and Blessings

The deity of Seto Machindranath is moved from his shrine to a tiny chariot to start the celebrations. The first voyage is a group endeavour, with followers pulling the chariot through Kathmandu's busy streets. The idol is moved to a larger chariot as the procession arrives at Jamal. The ten-story tower represents the residences of different gods.

When this beautiful chariot starts its journey through the city centre, the true display begins. Over the course of the following three days, it travels past historic sites like Ason, Hanumandhoka, and Lagan, drawn by a horde of devotees. Offerings are made to the god at each stop, and music fills the air as we celebrate this wonderful occasion. The crowd is showered with cash and colourful papers as part of a unique tradition known as Pataa Chayegu, which heightens the joyous mood.

about seto machindranath jatra

The festival's legend tells of a time when King Yakshya Malla aspired to immortality. Seto Machindranath himself intervened when he captured the god of death, Yamaraj. Emerging from a nearby pond, the white-hued deity gave the king instructions to construct a temple and start a chariot parade. It was thought that Seto Machindranath would be able to bless the people and bring life-giving rain on this yearly trek.

The chariot is an incredible piece of engineering. Constructed shortly prior to the celebration, the four enormous wheels on it symbolise Bhairav's avatars. The ten levels, each with a precious stone adornment, serve as a testament to Nepal's unique artistic talent.

The Seto Machindranath Jatra isn't merely a vibrant event. It's a celebration of the promise of spring, a community uniting to pay homage to their deity, and a lively exhibition of Nepal's diverse cultural heritage. Seeing this chariot parade offers a chance to fully experience Kathmandu, whether you're a visitor or a native.

Seto Machindranath Jatra Festival Date

  • 16, 17, and 18 April 2024


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