A mere 10 kilometers from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur reveals itself in myriad forms to the hungry eye, that you got to persevere to explore the uncharted pathways and take in the little wonders that this ancient habitat has to offer, besides the touristy glam. Bhaktapur, literally translated, means ‘City of Devotees’. A prominent seat of the Mallas since the medieval times, it is swathed in history. Bhaktapur is also admired for the temples and palaces that bear testimony to the exceptional carving skills of its Newar craftspeople. The Durbar Square resembles an open museum and is a melting point of multiple languages and cultures crowded with tourists from different nations besides the usual locals.
BHAKTAPUR, Aug 10: Farmers of Bhaktapur kicked off the Janai poornima festival by worshipping and feeding frogs in their fields this morning.
Farmers here regard frogs as the harbinger of rainfall and god of nature and feed them with special delicacies including rice on this auspicious day.
The tradition of feeding frogs is known as Byanja Naka Banegu in local language.
Farmers also revere the frogs as they are believed to help increase agriculture production by feeding on the insects in the field.
Furthermore, the event is also a way to relieve a farmer from the sin of accidently killing frogs while tilling the land during the time of plantation, according to culture expert Om Dhaubadel.
Bisket Jatra, a colourful festival celebrated with much pomp and fanfare in ancient city of Bhaktapur, the sister city of Kathmandu, has started from Thursday.
The famous festival, which is observed for eight consecutive nights and nine days, has been marked since the Lichchhivi era (c. 450-c. 750), according to historical records.
The Jatra officially starts from today after the Guthi Sansthan offers worship in Bhairabi temple nearby Paanchtale temple in Naumadi.
During the festival, a chariot procession is held in Bhaktapur and images of Ganesh, Lakshmi and Mahakali are carried around town.
The festival is also famous for an exciting tongue piercing ceremony that takes place during the chariot procession. A volunteer from the Shrestha family gets his tongue pierced in a spiritual trance with an iron spike and walks around the town shouldering a round bamboo rack with flaming torches. It is believed that the successful completion of this painful rite brings good fortune to the villagers & the volunteer himself.
source: nepalnews.com, 10 April 2014
The Samyak Danparba, a festival of offerings, was observed enthusiastically in Bhaktapur today.
The festival is a cultural, religious and historic festival of the Buddhists. The Buddhist followers here today visited the Buddhist temples and offered meals, foodstuffs and cash to the Buddhist monks.
This festival is observed on the first day of the Nepali month Magh every year, said Bhaktapur Buddhist Heritage Association Chairman Mahendra Raj Shakya. Although the festival is believed to be in existence since Gautam Buddha’s time, history shows that it has been observed since the reign of the then Lichhavi king Brishadev.
A total of 264 thousand 542 tourists visited Bhaktapur district in 2013.
According to the Bhaktapur Municipality, 118 thousand 81 tourists from SAARC countries and 146 thousand 461 tourists from other countries visited the district.
The number of tourists visiting the district increased by five per cent in 2013 in comparison to 2012.
Chief at the Bhaktapur Municipality Tourism Information Centre, Damodar Suwal, said that a total of 252 thousand 261 tourists had visited the district in 2012.
The Bhaktapur Municipality had collected Rs. 172.915 million from tourists in entry fee in 2013, he added.
The Municipality has fixed Rs. 100 entry fee per person for the tourists from the SAARC countries and Rs. 1,100 for the tourists from other countries.
source: The Rising Nepal, 15 Jan 2014
Bhaktapur Municipality has published an introduction of Bhaktapur, often known as a district of cultural and tourism importance. The brochure has been published in six different international languages.
According to municipality officials, the brochure is aimed at introducing to expose the district further to international tourists.
The brochure has been published in German, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and English languages.
The brochures include pictures of tourism sites, introduction of heritage monuments there, and a map of Bhaktapur and major government offices.
Chief of municipality’s Tourism Service Centre Gautam Prasad Lasiba said it was distributed in view of demands of tourists and would work as a tourist guide itself.
Tourists will not miss sites of importance with the brochure in their languages, he said.
source: Himalayan Times, 06 Jan 2014