Aug 17


Gai Jatra celebration

Gai Jatra is a festival celebrated by the Newar community of kathmandu valley every year since the malla period.  We see newars celebrating this festival in different cities where there is strong pesence of newars. Now a days we see other community also particiapting in this festival. It is one of the most popular festivals of Nepal. This festival comes just a day after Janai Purnima. The festival commemorates the death of people during the span of a year. Gai Jatra is a healthy festival which enables the people to accept the reality of death and to prepare oneself for the life after death. The festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Nepal.

Every family who lost their member goes to participate in this festival. They bring children or some time adult also with resemblance of Radha Krishna or give them funny looks or resemblance of cow, yogi and other Hindu idol. Some family brings the real cow too.

In Kathmandu the festival is held around Basantapur, in Bhaktpaur around the old Bhaktapur city and in Lalitpur they go around the Patan Durbar Square.

In this year’s Gai Jatra, I experienced new things. I visited Basantapur to watch this Jatra. There were groups of people who were actively working to clean the streets and making people aware of recycling the waste products. In my opinion such programs are more effective to inform people about general issue like recycling in such festivals as many people come to participate and to watch festivals. This was organized by rotary club.

Some organization like MANOKRANTI (few months back they stage a nude protest at New Road against the media for not focusing their news) were also taking benefit of this festival by selling or distributing their bulletin, they were all with painted face.

Hanuman Dokha

Gai Jatra in Modern Style

Do I look like lord Krishna

Manokranti in a crowd

We love our tradition

Dad Nepal is amazing

Ahhh so many thing to capture by camera in Nepal

The Hindus believe that the bereaved relative will reach the doors of the heaven if his/her family travels around the capital holding a cow’s tail. Devotees also offer milk and other edibles to the cow on Gai Jatra.

Hey it’s my day, it’s my festival

Yaar now-a-days even bloggers cover us, so hope we don’t need a nude protest next time

Babaji’s are every where in Hindu Kingdom (still 80% nepalese are Hindu)

Will my hard work will create awareness in people about “recycling”

Good work guys! Hope that seeing you guys at work, people will think twice before they dispose anything on the streets

Well done Rotary Club, we need such program to aware people

7 Responses to “Gai Jatra (cow festival), images from Basantapur”

  1. aAkaR Says:

    thanx for the dose of picture of gaijatra festival….
    it’s nice that they have done many program to aware people.

  2. Posicionamiento valencia Says:

    great pics

  3. Youngistan Says:

    Thanx 4 droppin by!! 🙂 For all the latest news, Reviews , weird news, The exception Science n Technology articles exclusively written by Team Youngistan , get all the new blogger templates n Blogging Resources!! Only @

  4. olga_rani Says:

    I like that little Krishna 🙂

  5. nepal Says:

    Just to let you know that Nepal was never a Hindu nation. Just like how USA was never a Christian nation, Nepal was never a Hindu nation. Read below and you know.

    re: Nepal was never a Hindu nation

    Nepal is a cultural mosaic state comprising different caste and ethnic groups belonging to mainly the Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan linguistic families, which is indicative of the waves of migrations that have occurred for over 2000 years from the north and south, respectively. The Tibeto-Burman or Mongoloid group having arrived from the north and east and by Indo-Aryan(Caucasoid) group that migrated from the south and west. It has been said that Nepal is a nation forged in migration (Gellner, 2007).

    Nepal History Timeline

    2000 BCE: Kiratas, Mongoloid race was living at Indus-Saraswoti region. (Prof. Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, 2002)
    To be more exact, Kirat ancestral homeland was in Sapta Sindhu (present day Jammu Kashmir and Himachal in northwest India), which was called Indus-Saraswoti Region over 5000 years ago.

    The Battle of the Ten Kings (dasarajna) for territory and ideology took place. It is mentioned in the Rigveda. The 7th Mandala of the Rigveda contains references to the Battle of the Ten Kings (notably hymns 18 and 83), where king Suda defeated a confederation of hostile Aryan and Dasyu tribes. In other word the battle of the Ten Kings was between Aryan(conform with vedic teachings) and those who did not. Kiratas joined the “Dasyu” or simply the group who had different ideology from vedic culture.

    The famous war between Kirat emperor Sambara and king Divo-das of Sindhu-Saraswoti Region is described even in Rigveda. Lord Indra is highly praised in the Rig-Veda for helping King Divo-dasa in this famous war. Sage Bharadwaja was Divo-dasa’s royal priest. He had ordered the King, to eliminate Kiratas and keep fighting till the time not a single Kirata is in existence in the northern frontier of Sapta Sindhu (Jammu Kashmir and Himanchal of present day). This is how the Aryans of Early Rig-Vedic times kept on moving towards the east,fighting both with Kiratas as well as Nishadhas(Indo-austroloids).

    The Vedic-Aryan Entry Into Contemporary Nepal
    [A Pre-Historical Analysis Based on the
    Study Of Puranas] – Shiva Raj Shrestha “Malla”

    After the first Great war,
    —> Kiratas Long painful march to the east of Himalayas and arrived in present day Northeast India(Assam & Sikkim) around 1100BCE–1000BCE.

    700 BCE: Kirat arrived at Kathmandu valley(present day Nepal) and started a Kirat dynasty.(Baburam Acharya)
    First Kirati King Yalambar. Fought in the second Great war, (the battle of Kurukshetra) of Mahabharata. Yalambar was killed by Krishna but stop the conquest of vedic Aryan expansion into Himalayas region for awhile.

    563 BCE: Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Lord Buddha) was born in Lumbini, south Nepal. He was born into King Suddhodana Gautama and his queen Mayadevi, rulers of the Shakya tribe of Kapilavastu region near Lumbini. He came to Kathmandu valley with his several disciples during the rule of the 7th Kirati ruler, King Jitedasti.

    239 BCE: During the 14th Kirati King Sthunko, the Indian Emperor Ashoka visited Kathmandu Valley with his daughter, princess Charumati. During his stay in the valley, he had four stupas built in four directions and one in the centre of Patan. The stupa still stand in the Patan outside Lagankhel market.

    6th BCE: During the rule of 15th Kirat King Jinghri, another religious doctrine Jainism was being preached by Mahavira in India. In this regard, Acharya Bhadrabahu, a disciple of Mahavira came to Nepal. But comparatively, Jainism could not gain popularity like Buddhism in Nepal.

    4th BCE: The term “Nepal” first start to appear in ‘Atharva Parishista’.
    All along before 4th BCE, the Himalayas region from Himachal Pradesh(northwest India) Nepal(central) to Tripura( northeast India ) and all the way to Chittagong(Bangladesh) in the south was referred as “Kiratdesh” upon translation is land of Mongoloid race.

    300AD: Invasion of Aryan Licchavis from northern India started.
    The 28th Kirati King Paruka was at the throne when the Sombanshi ruler attacked his regime many times from the west. Although he successfully repelled their attacks, he was forced to move to Shankhamul from Gokarna. He had built a royal palace called “Patuka” when he shifted to Shankhamul. Today this royal palace “Patuka” is no more to be seen now except its ruins in the form of mound. But Patuka had changed Shankhamul into a beautiful town.

    330AD: The last King of the Kirat dynasty was Gasti.
    He was a weak ruler and was overthrown by the Sombanshi ruler Nimisha. It brought to the end of the powerful Kirat dynasty that had lasted for about 1225 years.

    After the defeat,
    —> Kirat again painful march in search for new settlements. Others stayed back behind to form contemporary valley races which is known today as Newars.
    Many Kirats moved to the Eastern hills of Nepal and settled down divided into small principalities. Their settlements were divided into their regions, i.e. ‘Wallokirat’ that lied to the East of the Kathmandu, ‘Majkirat’ or Central Kirat region and ‘Pallokirat’ that border with Sikkim. These regions are still heavily populated by Kirats today.

    The two long painful march in search of new land shows that Kirat people are resilient and independent. Kiratis did not like living under the invaders and instead move on.

    1774 AD: ‘Pallokirat'(strong hold of Limbus, Lepchas, Dhimal) was the last of 3 Kirat Kingdoms to sign treaty with Gorkha King P.N Shah to form modern Nepal. The other 2 Wallokirat(stronghold of Sunuwar, Thami, Chepang, Hayu) & Majkirat(stronghold of Rais & Yakkha ) had signed the treaty by 1769 AD.

    The only reason why Gorkhali King Prithvi Narayan Shah was able to unify the 3 Kirat Kingdoms to form modern Nepal was due to a dissent among the 3 Kirat Kingdoms.
    Had the 3 Kirat Kingdoms united against the invasion of P.N Shah, Nepal would have been a different story today. Therefore by taking advantage of the situation, P.N Shah captured Wallokirat first. This act of terror surprised Rais & Yakkhas of Majkirat that P.N Shah was capable of doing such heinous act. Rais & Yakkha declare war on P.N Shah and his army. After series of battle P.N Shah troops was depleted and was on the verge of loosing. But P.N Shah brought more reinforcement from the Kathmandu and the west Nepal. He made use of Magars and Gurung men whom he had captured in Gorkha and surrounding areas in west Nepal to fight the Rais & Yakkhas for Majkirat. Finally peace was negotiated and treaty signed with P.N Shah by the ruler of Majkirat. Finally P.N Shah headed to land of Limbus, Lepchas and Dhimal in Pallokirat.

    There he had more bitter confrontation especially with Limbus(“an archer, or bearer of bow and arrows” in their Kirati name) are famed for their archery. All this awhile, P.N Shah had used guns and muskets he had acquired after the conquest of Kathmandu valley. The British Government was trading with the Newars of Kathmandu valley and hence there was supplies of guns and muskets in the hands of P.N Shah troops when the Newars were defeated.
    But still this was not a problem for Kirat-Limbus. The Limbus made Shah armies fled in terror with their skills and accuracy.

    Every Nepali history student knows the circumstances under which the Kirat Kingdoms were brought under the over lordship of P.N Shah if the truth was told.The truth was that it was through the treaty and not by the conquest that P.N Shah was able to capture 3 Kirat’s Kingdom and formed a modern Nepal in 1774.

    To mark the occasion, King Prithvi Narayan Shah had issued under his Lal Mohur (Red Seal) the following decree:

    “We have conquered your country although you had fought valiantly in its defense. We hereby pardon all your war crimes. Protection of you and your kinsmen will henceforth be our responsibility. You will continue to enjoy whatever customs and traditions, rights and privileges you have hitherto enjoyed as long as this world remains in existence. If ever, me or any of my descendants were to deprive you of these rights and privileges that we are now confirming upon you, may the curse of my own ancestors and gods befall upon me and my pro-genies and destroy us.”

    With this the Gorkha King gave full autonomy and land ownership(Kipat) to Kiratis as issued under the Lal Mohor. However, he made a simple demand on the Kiratis that they accept new identity to mark the occasion; thus Khambu Rai were given a new title of Jimdar, Yakthumba Limbu became Subba, Yakkha Rai became Dewan, Sunuwar Rai became Mukiya, Rong Pa became Lepcha and so on.

    But true enough the descendants of Prithvi Narayan Shah went back against their promises.

    The Singha Durbar (literally, Lion Palace) in Kathmandu is the official seat of government of Nepal. A substantial portion of the Singha Durbar was destroyed by fire in 1973 but the fact was that it was deliberately set on fire to destroy all Treaty, Legal document between Kirat & King Prithvi Narayan Shah.

    According to the work “Nepali Rajniti ma Adhekhai Sachai”(Hidden facts in Nepalese Politics) by Gopal Gurung, many of the original Kirat religion and culture was banned during the Rana government and all sort of Kiranti documents were burned and destroy which the office used to call Jatiya nasta bivag.

    And for over 200+ years, though Kirat history so rich, colorful and contributed in nation building was hidden from the Nepalese and to the world. This was partly because the previous Shah and Rana rulers who are Hindus did not respected the Kirat’s culture while they were deeply rooted in championing their history which was only of 200+ years old. Kirat’s history was never taught in Nepal school fully. Though the Nepali history class mentioned about Kirat, the book always stop it by saying “Not much is known about them” and goes on to Licchavis era, Thakuri era, Malla era and finally Shah and Rana era. Licchavis, Thakuri, Malla, Shah and Rana history are mentioned the most in Nepal’s history class because these are all Hindus.

    But mostly the Shah and Rana gets all the credits for nations building and even a museum is built to honor Shah and Rana rulers when the fact was that it was during the 240 years of Shah and Rana period, Nepal as a nation went downhill. Caste system flourished as Nepal was declared a Hindu Nation by the Shah rulers. As for the indigenous communities of Nepal who are not even Hindus, they were discriminated in every field especially in running of Nepal. Nepal became one of the poorest nation and the state it is right now is largely accredited to the Hindu Shah and Rana government who discriminated the indigenous communities. The Shah and Rana rulers made Nepal as a tool for making money for them but not for the nation. But this is another side of the story.

  6. Ravi Says:

    Wallo kirant means only Sunuwar not other mongoloied groups ok,bear in your mind.

  7. gio Says:

    nice article and pics! tomorrow Ill go to see the festival in Basantapur! 🙂

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