Dipankha yatra on Oct 17

Lalitpur, October 1:

Buddhist and Hindu shrines located in Lalitpur and Kathmandu will observe the ninth Dipankha yatra on October 17, according to the Dipankha Yatra Management Committee (DYMC) at Basu Barna Mahabihar, Lalitpur. Kirti Kiran Joshi, an astrologer at the Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (Golden Temple), said the Dipankha yatra is observed when five yogs lie on the same day of the lunar calendar. Kojagrat Purnima also falls on October 17. Taking out a procession from Nagbahal, Lalitpur, Buddhist priests will visit 131 Buddhist and Hindu temples located in Kathmandu and Lalitpur.

The procession will pass through different spots in Lalitpur and Kathmandu, namely Nakhipot, Bungmati, Khokana, then to Maru, Sitpaila, Halchowk, Swayambhu, Naxal, Boudha, and will conclude in Lagankhel. The journey will last for over a day. According to a legend, the Dipakar Buddha gave life to the idol of Neel Thu-bodhisatwa, a bull, on this very day. Sankharacharya then took the bull away from the Basu Barna Mahabihar. The priests’ efforts to call the bull back got delayed for three months. In course, the bull visited 131 places. Temples and idols of the bull were made wherever the bull went. He returned to his abode finally and got salvation soon. An idol was erected in memory of the bull at the Mahabihar.

According to documents collected by the members of Dipankar Guthi, the yatra is being celebrated after a period of 38 years. According to the documents, around 25,000 devotees participated in the yatra in 1967, covering a distance of approximately 60 kilometres. Devotees will offer coins, fruits, incense sticks and combination of nine grains as the symbol of nine planets. Yagya Man Shakya, the DYMC secretary, said they have allocated a budget of Rs 0.37 million for the yatra. Financial support will also be sought from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu Municipalities, and both the District Administration Offices, he said. The participating devotees have to offer rice grains in a small earthen vessel with a coin and supari an idol of bull at the Nagbahal.