KATHMANDU: In the year 2005 (2062 BS), more than 100,000 devotees participated in the Dipankha Yatra, which is a 900-year-old religious ceremony conducted from Nagbahal. It is a religious procession of Neel Thu (Blue Horned oxen) associated with the legends of Dipankar (one of the 14 Buddhas) that takes place only when five auspicious astronomical and
astrological features coincide on one day according to the lunar calendar.
This year it will begin on October 18. According to Bikash Ratna Dhakhwa, secretary-general of Dipankha Yatra Organising Committee, the procession is a symbol of religious tolerance among Hindus and Buddhists where devotees walk 66.5 km in 24 hours visiting 131 temples and monasteries around Kathmandu Valley.
He adds, “This year Dipankha Yatra is going to begin on October 18 as Suarmas Sankranti, Chandramas Purnima, Rewati Nachytra and Harshan Yog fall on the same day.
While the yatra has to be on a Sunday, but this year four of the signs coincide on a Friday. And there are historical instances of Dipankha Yatra being conducted on other days than Sunday.”
At a press meet held to give information about the yatra, it was informed that anyone who is interested to participate in the procession is welcome where Dhakhwa opines, “It is better not to wear leather shoes or items as all devotees need to visit various shrines.”
For the Dipankha Yatra, the organising committee will be providing facilities of drinking water, first aid, toilet and security at 43 points of the route, as per Dhakhwa. Moreover, the committee has also launched a free mobile application ‘blue horn’ about the map of the route, 43 points of aid, share and connect with Facebook and Twitter along with other features, as per Manish Shrestha, application developer from Kazi Studios.
Those willing to participate in the procession should offer kisili (offering of rice grain, whole beetle nut and coin kept in a small clay vessel) on October 17 to Neel Thu Boddhisavttow at Nagbahal.