Nepal | January 28, 2020

150 years of ‘Lakhey Dance’ in Jajarkot

Dinesh Kumar Shrestha

JAJARKOT: Jajarkot has a long history and ties with Lakhey Dance which was pioneered by the Newar community in the district during the reign of the then king Upendra Bikram Shah. Nearly 150 years have passed since then.

It is said that Govinda Man Bhadel belonging to the Bhaktapur Newar community — who was brought into Jajarkot by King Upendra Bikram Shah — started lakhey dance which today reflects the cultural and social unity in Jajarkot, says local Janak Bhadel.

Lakhey Dance

Locals enjoying the Lakhey dance in Khalanga, the district headquarters of Jajarkot. Photo: Dinesh Kumar Shrestha/THT

The dance begins in Khalanga, district headquarters of Jajarkot, every year on Shrawan Krishna Trayodashi as per the Nepali calendar, which is observed as Gathey Mangal festival. The traditional dance ends on the day after Krishna Janmashtami.

Despite the fact that lakhey dance has become a cultural treasure and a depiction of unity for locals of Jajarkot, it is at risk of fading out due to stakeholders’ negligence, says civil leader Rajendra Bikram Shah.

He added that previously, experienced locals and people of all ages and groups participated in the dance which was led by the Newar community. However, in recent times, youths are seen proactive in carrying out the dance as an effort to preserving this culture.

Lakhey dance, which depicts the story of Lord Krishna and his maternal uncle Kansha — has become an example of cultural entertainment in the area, shares Shriwat Shakya, a local who has enjoyed watching the performance in the past.

However, stakeholders are worried that the charm of the dance among locals might be decreasing — an issue that needs to be addressed for the preservation of a culture which is more than a century old.

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