President Bidhya Devi Bhandari visited Hanuman Dhoka at Basantapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu to attend cultural and historical festival Indra Jatra today.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JBR, Speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Prasad Sapkota, National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal and Minister for Finance Janardan Sharma, among others, reached Gaddi Baithak at historic Hanuman Dhoka to observe the annual celebration.

Also present on the occasion were members of the council of ministers, Bagmati Province Assembly members and representatives of the local levels and the like.

On the occasion, President Bhandari offered bheti to Lord Ganesh, Lord Bhairav and Goddess Kumari and observed the chariot procession of these Hindu deities later.

Today is the main day of the festival that began on the Bhadra Shukla Dwadashi (last Saturday). Lord Indra, the Lord of Rain, is worshipped in this festival, according to Guthi Sansthan, Kathmandu Office Chief Hari Prasad Subedi.

On September 24, a chariot procession will be taken out by women. On the same day, President Bhandari will receive tika and Prasad from Goddess Kumari.

Ritual has it that the head of state swaps khadga (sword) with Goddess Kumari on that day.

Indra Jatra, however, will conclude tonight after bringing down Indradhowj with a number of ceremonies such as Lakhe Naach, Mahakali Naach, Pulukisi Naach, among other dances that make Indra Jatra celebration a grand festivity among the Newari community mainly in Kathmandu valley.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 20 2021, of The Himalayan Times.