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President, Prime Minister attend Indra Jatra celebration



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Kathmandu, Sept. 19: President Bidya Devi Bhandari visited Hanuman Dhoka at Basantapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu to attend the cultural and historical festival of Indra Jatra today.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR, Speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Prasad Sapkota, National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal and Minister for Finance Janardan Sharma among others reached Gaddi Baithak at historic Hanuman Dhoka to observe the annual celebration.

Also, present on the occasion were members of the council of ministers, Bagmati Province Assembly members and representatives of the local levels and the like.

President Bhandari, on the occasion, offered Bheti to Lord Ganesh, Lord Bhairav and Goddess Kumari and observed the chariot procession of these Hindu deities thereafter.

Today is the main day of the festival that began on the Bhadra Shukla Dwadashi (last Saturday). Lord Indra, the Lord of Rain, is worshipped in this festival, according to Guthi Sansthan, Kathmandu Office Chief Hari Prasad Subedi.

On September 24, the chariot procession will be conducted by women. On the same day, President Bhandari will receive tika and Prasad from Goddess Kumari. The ritual has it that the Head of the State swaps khadga (sword) with Goddess Kumari on that day.

Indra Jatra, however, will conclude tonight after falling down the Indradhowj with a number of ceremonies such as Lakhe Naach, Mahakali Naach, Pulukisi Naach among other dances that make the Indra Jatra celebration a grand festivity among the Newari community mainly in the Kathmandu Valley.