A part of Bagmati zone, Nuwakot district lies northeast of Kathmandu valley. The name, ‘Nuwakot’, is made up of two words ‘Nawa’ and ‘Kort’. ‘Nawa’ means Nine in Nepali and ‘Kort’ means sacred religious sites at the top of a hill. During the 18th Century, it used to serve as an important stopover on the Tibetan-Kathmandu Valley trade route. Referring to the pages of history, the Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded Nuwakot which was under the ruling of Jaya Prakash Malla and made Nuwakot as the capital of his ruling area. At an elevation of 900 m, the ancient citadel stands proud as if untouched by changing times, amid the quaint Nuwakot Bazaar. The seven-story palace fortress was built during the reign of King Prithivi Narayan. It takes about 3 hrs/75 km to reach the historical city by land transfer from the capital city Kathmandu. Newar, Brahmin, Chhetri, Tamang and Magar is the main inhabitant of Nuwakot.
Sindure Jatra is one of the main festivals in Nuwakot. This Jatra is celebrated on Chaitra Purnima (April) which is celebrated for 10-12 days. The festival is celebrated every year and is mostly observed by people from Newar community. The festival marks the Nepali New Year and arrival of spring season. During the festival, devotees gather and take out a procession carrying a wooden chariot containing the idols of Goddess Bhairabi. People smear each other with Sindur (orange vermillion powder) and sing and dance to the tune of traditional music during the procession.
NOTE: Festivals dates change yearly.
Day 01: 28th Chaitra (10th April 2017): On the very first day of the festival, at the evening time, Living Goddess Kumari and Holy Priest (Dhami) perform a special ritual bath for the priest by Goddess Kumari. After the ritual of the purification process, the priest performs special puja in the temple. On the premises of the temple, two wooden poles are praised and plunked.
Living Goddess Kumari
Wooden Pole (Lingo)
Day 02: 29th Chaitra (11th April): Devotes carry the chariot of Goddess Bhairabi and pull it up to the Devighat (Riverbank) as per the tradition. This is where Two Goddess will meet as siblings.
Day 03: 30th Chaitra (12th April): Early morning, the Priest offer goats and buffaloes as per the rituals.
Following that people pray and sacrifice animals. On this day, the huge mass of devotees gathers, near the temple on the bank of a river. Mid-Night Goddess Bhairabi Chariot is returned back to her own Temple. This process will take whole night.
Day 04: 31st Chaitra (13th April 2017): Sindure Jatra (vermillion powder) festival is celebrated on this day. It is celebrated on after two days of Chaitra Purnima. Festival starts, after the guardian of Goddess Bhairabi scatter Sindur to the Priest, following on priest scatter Sindur to devotees.
Dhami and Dhamini
Day 05: –New Years Day- 1st Baishakh (14th April 2017): On the 1st day of New Year, Priest performs another ritual following on sacrificing the goats in the premises of the Bhairabi Temple. Where priest will offer the goats and buffaloes to Goddess with few amount of blood. He will suck the blood the blood for three times as part of ritual.
Priest (Dhami) Suck blood during festival
Day 06 to Day 10: 2nd – 6th Baishakh (15th – 19th April): Family gets together for celebration and invites each other for a special feast.
Day 11:- 7th Baishakh (20th April): Special Puja is performed to the Wooden Pole which was established at the starting of the Festival and Today it will be pull down with special Puja rituals. Devotee’s gather around Bhairabi Temple to pull down the wooden pole.
Day 12: – 8th Baishakh (21st April): It is the last day of the festival. The second wooden pole is brought down in a same ritual process as performed on the previous day. This is the last day of the Festival of the year.