Chandeshwori Jatra is one of the largest festival in Kavrepalanchowk district of Nepal. The festival is of Hindu goddess Chandeshwori (Parbati). This festival is celebrated in the honour of the victory over Chandasur(demon) where it is on the full moon day of the New Year’s festival.
Chandeshwori temple on the other hand is in Banepa valley at about 4800 ft. Banepa is about 26 km east from Kathmandu and it is believed that with the favour and direction of goddess Chandeswori seven cities: Banepa, Panauti, Dhulikhel, Nala, Khadpu, Chaukot and Sanga were found. King Anandadeva founded them and United all the scattered villages with a Ganesh statue on each eight gates. Also, he built a temple of Chandeswori arranging a trust fund for the goddess.
As the guardian of Banepa, Chandeswori has been given several names. Jagajanani; Bhagvati, Durga, Chandika, Mahisasur- Mardini, Bhavani, Kalika, Chamund, Kumari and Dumaju. All of them are called Chandeswori.
During the time of great war between the deities and the demon Chandasur, the demon was beheaded. And a stream of light came out from the corpse of the demon and became Chandeswori Linga.
Also, people from Banepa are of the opinion that Shiva Linga enshrined which was installed by Chandasur just before when he was about to be headed.
It is believed that Chandeswori is the daughter of Svetkali ( Nardevi) of Kathmandu. That’s why the mask dance of Svetkali is brought every twelve years.
This festival begins with the beginning of the best year of Nepal. As it was in honour for the victory over the demon. The festival takes place on the first full moon day of the New Year where there are many things that is done for the preparation of this festival people there, to ward off the evil spirit and to scantily the place for the Jatra, ‘Bau’ (made of beaten rice is scattered by a ‘Kasain’ accompanied by the performance of ‘nayekins’ and cymbals from the eastern old gate to the Chandeswori. Only after the ‘ Dewali puja’ of Bhochhibhoya caste of Banepa (eight days before the full moon) the Puja ends.
A huge chariot of beautiful colours is constructed by Manandhars that rests on four big sodden legs. There are 5 big poles on each side of the chariot and the empty chariot is then carried to Chandeshwori and with all the rituals performed, the idol of goddess(made of precious metal) is kept into the chariot where many musical instruments are played for the hymns to goddesses.
The Chariot is taken back (the day of full moon) and welcomed with different musical instruments at Wokutole where women offer oil-lamp, puja and some other edible things by scattering over the chariot. Special puja is offered.
Also, some pieces of goat meat from the sacrificed one is scattered(Kalandan). People who get it are considered to be fortunate for the whole year. The following day is the day for the deity with ‘Saying’. Every year only for two days, the door of ‘Dyo-Che’ ( place where the metal god is kept and open for puja offerings) and after that it is closed for the whole year. Hence, by this way Chandeshwori Jatra is celebrated in Banepa every year.
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