Indra Jatra and Kumari Festival are the combines of two religion’s (Hinduism and Buddhism) own rules, culture, believes, faith and rituals. Hinduism and Buddhism are the two major religion of NEPAL. However like most festivals of Nepal, both Hindu and Buddhist unite to celebrate the festival of Indra Jatra. This festival is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists with great enthusiasm. It is also believed that Indra Jatra is a festival of classical dances. It is on the vary day when one is able to observe numerous varieties of traditional dances. The festival is named after Lord Indra who is known as the god of rain and also the king of heaven.
The festival of Indra Jatra continues for eight days with much rejoicing, singing, dancing and feasting. People from all over Nepal, mostly those who live within Kathmandu valley, gather at Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu. The first day of festival is viewed by large number of people. On that day, a long wooden pole is erected in front of the ancient royal palace at Hanumandhoka in order to propitiate Lord Indra, the ‘god of rain’ classical dancers also assemble at the spot, wearing different kinds traditional masks and costumes and dancing around courtyard of Hanumandhoka to celebrate Indra’s visit.
On the third day of the festival of Indra jatra, the living goddess Kumari is taken out in a procession in a Charikot. ‘kumari’, the ‘living goddess’, is considered to be incarnation of the goddess ’Taleju’. Chariots of Kumari, Ganesh and Bhairav are taken around the city for three days. According to Hindu beliefs Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati who has a head of an elephant and Bhairav is another form of lord Shiva himself. The festival’s many interesting dances, including the procession of living goddess-Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Dasha avatar masked dances are staged in Kathmandu durbar square, near the Kumari temple. The excitement of the Indra Jatra and Kumari festival comes to an end on the last evening of the festival when the long wooden pole erected on the first day is lowered with religious ceremonies, animal sacrifices and ritual gestures.