Bhaktapur, April 10
Considered the pride of Bhaktapur - the much coveted Biska Jatra is commencing today as per tradition.
The nine-day festival begins this evening with the pulling of Bhailakha's chariot in a 'tug of war' between Thane (up) and Kone (down) settlements of the city.
There is a belief that observing this Jatra destroys one's enemies, hence it is also called Shatruhanta Jatra.
People this morning were busy preparing for the 'commotion' that will unfold in the evening today. All the shopkeepers and residents whose shops or houses stand near the chariot's path will have to take off the awnings, cover the door with tin or iron doors for protection during the pull.
According to the Chief District Officer Rudra Devi Sharma who was quoted by Rastriya Samachar Samiti, strategies have been adopted after holding discussions with the stakeholders to conduct the Jatra in a dignified manner and on time.
Metropolitan Police Chief Shiva Kumar Shrestha said that 950 Nepal Police and 400 Armed Police personnel will be mobilized for the Jatra. CCTV cameras have been installed at the crossroads to identify the rioters during the procession.