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Rato Machindranath Jatra In Lalitpur – Nepal - Chariot Festival

Rato Machindranath Jatra is a unique festival organized at the Rato Machhendranath Temple at Patan (Lalitpur) in Nepal. This annual festival is held in July during the beginning of Summer solstice or Dakshinayana in northern hemisphere.

The deity worshipped in the Rato Machhendranath temple is taken atop a chariot around the streets and is then pulled to a temple at nearby Bungamati. The deity stays here for the next six months.

Machhendranath, Matsyendra or Bungadyo, is an incarnation of Shiva. He is worshipped for good rains, for no drought and for no natural calamities. This is the Matsyendra who was a 10th century Yogi who spread the teachings of Shiva in India, present day Pakistan and Nepal.

The image of the deity is transported back and forth in a tall chariot, built on Pulchowk Road. The deity is paraded around the town before taken to the temple. The jatra takes place two times a year once in July and another at the start of winter solstice (December or January).

The festival lasts for nearly a month. The chariot is unusually tall and has got a long prow. A red-face huge head of the deity can be seen inside the chariot. Figureheads and metal art work can be seen on the chariot.