Biska: the annual festival and a charm of Bhaktapur, the living city, commences from today, for eight nights and nine days, till April 18.

The festival starts on 28th day of Chaitra (as per the lunar calendar) every year and ends on 5th of Baisakh with the main festival activities being carried out in different localities, especially in Ta:mari (Taumadi), Balkumari Temple in Thimi, Bode, among others.

Last year, the festival was suspended owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year too, the local authorities had announced that the festival be suspended yet again, however, the Supreme Court ordered that the festival be carried on following protests staged by the locals.

However, Bhaktapur Municipality has appealed that the festival be observed with safety and necessary precaution as cases of coronavirus infection are beginning to increase in the country, especially in Kathmandu district that holds the highest daily cases.

The Municipality has requested that the main activity of pulling the chariot be started at 2:00 pm in the afternoon today, and on April 18 when the chariot is returned to its place, and concluded at 5:30 pm. Generally, the chariot used to be pulled at around 5:00 pm during the previous years.

Similarly, the municipality has also requested that the chariot be pulled as far as Sukuldhoka (Bulubulu Hiti) to the east side and as far as Nasamana towards the west. The festival witnesses pulling of the chariot from two sides, a tug of war competed by two factions of denizens residing in upper and lower regions of the city.

Overall, the municipality requests that the crowd be managed as much as possible without unnecessary clusters.