Horses at Tundikhel- Ready to suppress the evil spirit of Demon Tundi
Annual festival celebrated with the biggest horse parade in Tudikhel in Kathmandu is one of the most awaited festivals in Nepal. The festival observed on the no-moon day of Chaitra Shukla Pakshya of Eastren Lunar calendar, Ghode Jatra falls during mid March or early April of Georgian calendar.
Tundikhel during Ghode Jatra- Dignitaries have arrived and the performers are all set; celebration begins in a moment
March 30 2014, Ghode Jatra was once again observed with huge enthusiasm. Especially the native Newars of Kathmandu celebrate the festival for several days.
Ancient statue of horse riding at Tundikhel
The procession of idols of deities of several localities in Kharpan and a small portable chariot takes place at several venues. Feasts are organized in ancient Newari communities. The procession of Eight Gods and Goddess including Lumadi, Bhadrakali, Kankeshowri and Bhairav come at the common point, Asan and hence the festival is regarded as the Meeting of Gods and Goddess. The Gods and Goddess during the festival are believed to be activated through tantric rites.
The gallop begins- Horse Racing at Tundikhel during Ghode Jatra
As per the myth, Ghode Jatra was observed to celebrate the victory over a fearsome demon named Tundi, who was a big terror for the natives of Kathmandu. When Tundi died during a war, people celebrated the victory by dancing onto his body with horses. Since then the gallop of horses at Tundikhel during Ghode Jatra, forces the evil spirit to remain under the ground.
Modern addition to celebrate Ghode Jatra- Cycling Competition
On the main day of the festival the demon named Gurumumpa is also appeased at Tundikhel. These days Nepal Army organizes the competitive horse race, cycle race and other activities during Ghode Jatra so that the soul of demon remains under the grounds of Tundikhel. This is a cultural taboo that has been observed in Nepal for ages; however the festival is worthwhile watching as large number of people make up to Tundikhel to observe the festival.
Hang or stand but have patience to observe the biggest horse race of the country- Locals eagerly waiting at the fence to observe the Annual Horse Race at Tundikhel
Several cleaning activities in the streets of Kathmandu are seen during Ghode Jatra. As the festival welcomes Summer/spring, people of the valley keep their locality clean to get rid of health hazards during summer.
Every corner around Tundikhel is occupied during Ghode Jatra- WOW! the competitive Horse Race with immense cultural and religious values; who wants to ignore it?
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