Fairs begin at shrines of gods, goddesses in Sudurpaschim

Dadeldhura, Nov. 20: The fair has commenced in the temples of various gods and goddesses in the hilly districts of Sudhurpaschim Province. People who have migrated from the hills to the Tarai region are enthusiastically coming back to their roots to join the worship of the deities. 

The temples of the local goddesses are being decorated, and locals said that various fairs are being organised to pay homage to these goddesses.

Ward Chairman Khadak Bahadur Bohora announced that a fair is scheduled to take place on Sunday night at the Shaileshwar Mahadev crematorium, situated on the banks of the Pokhara River in Amargadhi Municipality-7 of the district.

As per the tradition, a procession from Salla village, carrying the flags of nine deities, Shankhghanta, Bigul, Bhokar, and other ornaments, reached the temple, where a worship ceremony is being performed, said Bohora.

The renowned Kailapal deity’s procession is set to occur on Monday in Ganyadura Rural Municipality-4. Ward Chairman Narendra Kumar Bhatta informed that there will be Ratedi (nocturnal celebration) on Sunday and Dieusadi Jaant procession on Monday at the Kailapal Temple.

Kalu Singh Dhanuk, the local Shaman, mentioned that Ratedi is observed every year on Kartik Shasthi, followed by Dieusadi Jaat the next day. Villages from various regions participate in the Jaant of the Kailapal deity. Fairs are organised on the same day at the Kailapal deity’s temples located at different places within Dhadeldhura’s Thapla and Baitadi district.

Even from Thapla in Doti, Deuro comes to the temple of the Kailapal deity in Kailpalmandau on the day of the fair. Following the local religious and cultural tradition, individuals from various villages bring incense and pokhal to the Kailapal temple. After the completion of the puja, the second day of the fair is joyously celebrated.

The Cholo dance, renowned in this region, is performed as a symbol of strength during the fair. There persists an age-old tradition of performing the Chaulo dance as a demonstration of power, coupled with the religious belief that wishes will be granted through worshiping the deity. This dance involves synchronised movements to the rhythm of the traditional “panche baja” while wielding bare swords in hand.

The Kailapal temple is revered as the second temple of the renowned Lataganyap deity in the Ganyapadhura region. Many locals residing in Ganyapadhura, including Garkha and Doti’s Bandungrisain and Thapsa, known as Pasya in ancient times, return home for worship. It’s noted that even individuals who have migrated from the hilly areas and relocated to other places make a point to reach here during the time of the Jaant fair.

Datti Singh Bhandari, Chairman of Ward No. 2 Ajayamaru Rural Municipality, said that a fair, accompanied by a worship ceremony, is scheduled to take place at the Kola Samaiju temple of the Ajayamaru Rural Municipality-2 and Lagi Samouji temple in Amargadhi Municipality-7 on November 23, 2023.

A fair is scheduled to take place at the temple of the Lataganyap deity in Badaal, Ganyapadhura Rural Municipality-2, on November 24. The Chairman of Ganyapadhura Rural Municipality-2, Manok Deuba, mentioned that the fair is planned for the night of November 23 and the afternoon of November 24.

This fair has received recognition in Sudurpaschim as the Chaulo, crafted as a devotional expression for the Lata ganyap deity, takes centre stage in the renowned Badaal Jaant. Traditional musical instruments, including spears, Gurjas, Khukuris, and swords, are displayed in the fair, adding a unique cultural flavour to the festivities.

Locals affirm that each year at the temple of the Lataganyap deity, Ratedi takes place on Kartik Shukla Dashami, followed by a fair on the subsequent day. Karna Bahadur Mali, a local cultural expert, explained that Ratedi is observed on the eighth day of Bhaitika, and Diusedi takes place on the ninth day.

After engaging in traditional martial arts with weapons like Daain, Damaha, Ruising, and Bhokkar Bajagaaja (traditional musical instruments), locals perform the Chaulo dance and celebrate with lively folk dances once the Badaal Jaant is concluded. 

The Badaal Jaant concludes with the participation of visitors from various regions of the province. People from Shikhar Municipality in Doti and the Ghanteswor area also come annually to uphold their cultural traditions. 

Local residents expressed their commitment to preserving and practicing in their unique rituals and customs each year.  

The Chaulo dance of Badaal has become a distinct identity of Sudurpashchim due to its combination of traditional weapons like Dhaal and Tarbar, coupled with vibrant dancing. Local events, especially during the festivals dedicated to various deities, also serve as platforms for the sale of locally-produced goods. 

This year, the festival will be celebrated at the well-known Shiva temples in Sudurpashchim Province on November 27, followed by another fair at the Bhagwati temples on November 28, according to Kailash Kumar Pandey, a local cultural expert. 

He also said that worship ceremonies for Bhagwati will be conducted at prominent temples like Ugratara Temple, Melauli Temple, Shaileshwari Temple, Nigalashaini Temple, and Ranshaini Temple on the same day.

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