The festival dedicated to the King of heaven also the Rain God, Indra begins on the day of the Bhadra Dwadasi and ends on Ashwin Krishna Chaturdasi according to the lunar calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar, either the festival falls during late September or the early October, which is the beginning of high tourist season (autumn) in Nepal.
The festival kicks off by putting up a 36 feet long Linga (Yasingh), a ceremonial pole, which is made by the chosen tree from the woodland of Kavre, the district east of Kathmandu. During the occasion of pole erection the vibrant display from the living deity Akash Bhairab, who wears colorful large mask and spouts Jaad and raksi (Nepali local liquors) from the mouth is worthwhile observing.
Households throughout Kathmandu (especially Newars) display images and sculptures of Indra and Bhairab at this time of year. On the final day of Indra Jatra the Kumari (living goddess) along with other Living Gods of the valley Kumar & Ganesha, leave the seclusion of their temples in adorned palanquins and lead processions through the streets of Kathmandu to thank Indra, the rain god.
The main attraction of the festival is the procession of chariots and masked dancers representing deities and demons. During the festival varieties of masked dancing sequences from different locales of Kathmandu like Sawa Bhakku Bhairav dance from Halchowk, Majipa Lakhey dance from Majipat, Devi Nach and Yeravathatthi from Naradevi Mahakali and Kathi Maka Nach from Bhaktapur add fascinating attractions to all the wonderful highlights of this vibrant festival.
On the final day after the Linga (Yasingh) is pulled down the festival ends. Later on, the linga is taken to the confluence of holy Bagmati and Bishnumati Rivers in Teku to submerge it.
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