Monday, July 28, 2008

Sixteen hundred years old "Bhoto Jatra"

Bhoto Jatra ( the traditional Bhoto display ceremony of Macchindranath).Bhoto means sleeveless vest and Jatra means festival. The BHOTO (a velvet vest embroidered with jewels) is shown to people thrice towards all the four directions from the chariot of Machhindranath itself on the last day of the four-day-long chariot-pulling procession of Rato Macchindranath and Meennath, at Jawalakhel . According to the Jatra rituals, the head of the state has to worship the deity .With the "bhoto display ceremony" ends the month-long Machhindranath festival and the idols then are taken back to their own places(Machhindranath to Bungmati and Minnath to Patan.) The chariots are then dismantled and stored for the next year to rebuild.
History :
It is believed that this Bhoto (vest ) was rewarded to a farmer by Karkot Naga(king of serpents) for curing the eye ailment of his Queen. But the farmer lost the Bhoto while working in his field. A year later when the farmer went to attend the Machhindranath festival at Jawalakhel, he saw the same giant wearing his vest. The farmer then started a fight with the giant.The Karkot Naga was also there . He then submitted the Bhoto to Machhindranath for safe keeping until someone claims it with evidence. Since then the BHOTO is displayed every year on the last day of the festival to assure that it is still safe and one might prove his ownership of the bhoto.

This luckily was my first experience of attending the Machhindranath festival that too from the very beginning as I come from a different city of Nepal .I was very excited to witness the one of the oldest and longest festival of Nepal. I captured all the pictures by my nokia n95. This post (end of the festival) is a continuance to my previous post on the Machhindranath (the beginning of the festival).
rato machindranatThe chief of the Guthi displaying the BHOTO to the citizens
culture and festivalsThe chief priest of the Machhindranath festival
historyThousands of devotees attending the Bhoto Jatra
people in n95The chariot has been pulled by the devotees to Jawalakhel ( the last stop )
lifestyle"The chariot puller" .Many people together keep pulling these ropes to make the chariot keep moving .

JawalakhelThe devotees worshiping the deity and offering small oil lamps(Deeyo/Batti)
bhoto jatraThe chariot has reached its final destination(Jawalakhel) and the thousands of devotees are impatient to worship the deity to get his blessings.

n95 picturesThere was a nice arrangement for drinking water too for the festival attenders .It really was a hot day!!
people in n95Thousands of devotees had gathered in Jawalakhel to witness the historical event and to offer their prayers to the Machhindranath .
nepal festivals
JatraSpecial security was also provided around Jawalakhel to avoid any unwanted incident. The festival ended peacefully.
Nepali culture
mobile photographyWith much enthusiam and very peacefully ended the hundreds of years old ceremony in the evening .

Friday, July 25, 2008

The priceless childhood

Children are the most precious gift of god . They are bliss to parents.Children require guidance, a little love and attention of the parents .Your children need your presence more than your presents.Good upbringing definitely moulds a child into a better human and an asset to society.The bright memories of the childhood always strengthen a child and leads him towards a successful life.
These lovely children made me nostalgic by reminding me of my childhood . I took these pictures by my n95 in a children park located few minutes away from my home .
n95 picturesHe looks so cute . The lovely bubbly boy yo yo get going .

children park They must be feeling happy to drive a car before turning 18 . Hehehe.
kinder gartenThese children are definitely going to be the future Micheal Schuhmacher. LOL .
childhood memoryToys are child's best friend .
childrenThe cute little girl is buying a balloon .
children lifestyle The parents do know how to make their children smile . yeah by getting them their best friend !!

And here are the pilots .Children need models more than they need critics
children are bliss They look very cute . Childhood is the world of fun.
n95picChildren need to be refreshed form time to time .And such festivals help them get rid of the boredom.
bikranEnjoying their peacock ride
pictures of chidrenHere they also have the train .wow ..
naughty kidThe train has stopped but she still does not want to come out . I want more mummy eheh.

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.We should never limit a child from learning.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Aaiselu (edible wild yellow berries)

Aaiselu is a kind of berry mostly grown nearby the forests and highways and hilly area in spring season and ripen in summer . I did not find the exact name of it in English but we call it Aaiselu (wild yellow berries). These berries taste simply wonderful and leaves you wanting always more of them. Aaiselu is too soft and should be eaten sooner after picking them up else they lose their original taste . It is a bit difficult to pick Aaiselu because thier bushes are very thorny. Mostly the children so really fond of them that they even bunk their schools just to pick the berries ignoring the scratches in the skin . Even the tourists like them much .During the summer you can see poeple selling Aaiselu near by the highways in Nepal .

AaiseluThe thorny bushes full of ripe Aaiselu . My mouth is watering now
aaiselu in nepalI took these pictures by n95 mobile in my last visit to Pokhara during summer.
wild yellow berryI had too picked few of the delicious berries in my last visit to Pokhara . That was fun .

These berries till now have not been much used but many things could be done out of them. We can start Aaiselu farming , producing wines and juices out of them ,which could serve as a source of income to the poor villagers . The farming could be done easily and in a low budget as they grow easily without any special attentions .
The only problem in developing countries is that we ourselves are oblivious of our own resources and keep ignoring them.But if we wake up and see around there are millions of things to start with to make life better .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fuel crisis hits my nation too

When the whole world is undergoing the fuel crisis currently how could only Nepal be left behind in the race.Nepal lacking oil reserves of its own and also unfortunately being a landlocked country has to depend on India for its needs.The fuel crisis in Nepal has intensified as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC),the main supplier of petroleum products to the Himalayan country, cuts its supply of fuel and other petroleum products.The poor economy of Nepal is also the cause for this scarcity as the Finance Ministry in Nepal could not cope up with the drastic increment(internationally) in the prices of fuel and is struggling to pay for imports.
Queuing up at petrol pumps for hours with their motorbikes, taxis and buses for few liters of petrol/diesel has become a part of people's life.They are forced to stand sometimes almost a day and even spend nights at the pump to fuel their vehicles. This drastic shortage in fuel has not only created anger and frustration in the citizens but has created chaos on essential public transport services and hospitals ,ambulance services,fire brigade services etc.

Here are few pictures that show the real scenario of the crisis . I took them from the nearby petrol pump .There are lot more to be seen all over the city.

petrol pumpThe petrol pump is still closed as they have no petrol to distribute .
fuel crisisThe drivers are still waiting for the petrol station to open for fuel distribution .
nepal oil corporationwow!! the petrol tanker has now arrived . Would a single tanker suffice all of them ? And the answer is a big "NO". The early comer are lucky today and the rest should still continue waiting may be till another tanker arrives .But when .. no answer .

n95 picturesHundreds of taxis queuing up at the petrol pump to fuel up their taxis.
automobiles queueThe day is about to come to an end and the people are still there waiting . How hectic .
The number of vehicles increases and increases . There is no sign of ending this queue.How long does is go like this ? Does not this now be taken seriously by our government ?

nepal fuel crisis
This is now high time the government ponders to find alternatives for fuel crisis and bring the it to an edge.They now should seriously start thinking over to use the most out of Solar energy,renewable and green energy,wind power, hydro-electric power,bio-gas generators and so on before reaching the very worst.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gloomy Tuesday Evening

This very moment I captured by my nokia n95 mobile while watching the moon in the sky through my window .
gloomy eveningTuesday gloomy evening appears in the half Moon behind the cloud.
n95 pictureMoon and Clouds playing hide n seek
gloomy evening n95 pictures

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A tribute to Bhanubhakta(the first poet of Nepal) on his birth anniversary

Bhanubhakta Acharya(1814-1868) was a Nepali poet who translated the great epic "Ramayana" from Sanskrit to Nepali. He was born in Chundi Beshi of Ramgha of Tanahu district in 1814 .
Bhanubhakta was the first poet ever to write in Nepali language when other Poets in Nepal usually wrote in Sanskrit. That is why he was entitled as "AADI KAVI"(meaning the first poet). He was an outstanding poet, who dedicated his entire life to enriching Nepali literature .

BhanubhaktaThe statue of the AADI KAVI (pioneer) Bhanubhakta Acharya
BhanujayantiBhanubhakta was a young boy from a wealthy family and was leading a luxurious life until he met a poor grass cutter who inspite of his poverty wanted to build a well (KUWA in nepali) to help the travelers to quench their thirst and be remembered even after death .This inspired Bhanubhakta to do something remarkable. So honoring the grass cutter, he wrote these lines:
" He gives his life to cutting grass and earns little money,
he hopes to make a well for his people
so he will be remembered after death,
this high thinking grass cutter lives in poverty,
I have achieved nothing, though I have much wealth.
I have neither made rest houses nor a well,
all my riches are inside my house.
This grass cutter has opened my eyes today,
my life is worthless if the memory of my existence fades away."
Since then he dedicated himself to writing poetry
ghasi kuwa,n95 picturesThese are the statues of Poet Bhanubhakta (left) and the Ghasi (grass cutter) on the right in the Ghasi Kuwa Park in Tanahu district ,Nepal.

(I took these pictures by my n95 mobile while coming back to Kathmandu from Pokhara as this park is situated near the Prithivi Highway.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The festival of Rato Machhindranath

These are the pictures of the two chariots of "Red Machhindranath" (behind) and his disciple "Meennath" also known as "Gorakhnath" (front).
This longest ceremonial pulling of the huge four wheeled chariots begins in mid-April at Patan, Pulchowk ,Nepal and continues for a month. It is believed that this festival was introduced by King Narendra Deva in the 9th century A.D
.This festival symbolizes the annual visit of the Lord on earth and is celebrated for the peace and prosperity of the countrymen.The festival begins with the construction of the chariot in Pulchowk, and ends with the Bhoto Jatra festival (ceremonial display of his jewel studded legendary vest) in Jawalakhel ,Lalitpur.

Rato(red) Machhindranath (also Matsyendranath) is worshipped as the God of rain and harvest, who by legend was brought from Assam, India to Kathmandu valley in Patan ,Lalitpur to prevent a drought .He was guru of Gorakhnath and also the founder of "Hatha yoga"(a branch of Yoga).Machhindranath was born out of fish's womb.
It is said that once Lord Gorakhnath on his visit to Kathmandu valley got annoyed as nobody noticed him while seeking alms and sat in "samadhi" on the serpents (the cause of rain ) which then resulted a serious drought in the valley .The great Tantrik "Acharya Bandhudatta" suggested the then king Narendra Dev to invite the Lord Machhindranath so that Gorakhnath would stand up to greet his "Guru" and the serpents would be freed and then it would rain .So the king brought Lord Machhindranath to the valley from India .Knowing that Lord Machhindranath was in the valley ,Gorakhnath stood up to greet him and thus the serpents were freed and started raining which then took away the drought .Ever since started the festival of pulling the chariot of machhindranath to honour him

n95pic.blogspot.comThis the chariot of the Rato Machhindranath.The chariot stands so tall as if it touches the sky.One has to climb high to view the statue of the Machhindranath kept on the upper part of the chariot . A closer view of the chariot .

nepal cultureThe giant wheels of the chariot . A lot of enery is needed to pull these wheels . A large number of men gather in the festival to pull the chariot . Interesting huh!!

n95 picturesA closer view of the wheel .

The Meennath (also called CHAKUWA DYO or Gorakhnath) is the great disciple of Rato Machhindranath and worshiped as a deity of religion.Meennath also has a beautiful chariot which is a little smaller than that of Rato Machhindranath.It is a tradition that the Machhindranath's chariot cannot move until the Meennath's chariot arrives the ceremonail spot .
It is believed that once a queen whose husband had just died suddenly got aroused. Machhindranath felt sorry for her and he with his powers entered the dead body of the king and quenched the queen's desires.During he himself got captivated that he forgot to leave the king' body.Seeing his "Guru" drifting away from his responsibilities , Meennath changed himself into even more beautiful woman than the Queen and walked into the room where his Guru and the queen lived .Skillfully he brought his master out of it and made him aware of his duties .After that Rato Macchindranath always wanted Gorakhnath to accompany him to everywhere.
And ever since it became a tradition that both the chariots are to be pulled together

nepal festivalThe chariot of Meennath decorated colorfully .This chariot is a little smaller in size than the first one .He always accompanies the Machhindranath .

n95pic.blogspot.comThe long wooden rod carved with the statue of the "Bhairav"(God of protection) in the front. This is attached to the chariot and is built for the pulling of the chariot .

meennathThe Bhairav carved on the wooden puller
patan lalitpur Again the chariot of Meennath in a full view.