Indra Jatra is a festival, which is concerned with God Indra, as well as it is concerned with other Hindu gods and goddesses. Indra is the God of Rain as well as the King of Heaven, according to Hindu mythology.When King Gunakamadeva founded Kathmandu city in the 10th century, he was the first king to celebrate Indra Jatra. Since then, the people of Kathmandu have celebrated Indra Jatra every year.
Indra Jatra is based on Lunar Calendar, and the Government of Nepal declares Public Holiday on this day.
Indra Jatra begins when people of Kathmandu erect a wooden pole with a flag on its top at Hanuman Dhoka. This wooden pole is known as Linga or Yasingh in Nepali, and it is about thirty-six feet long. It is made from the tree that grows in Nala forest, which lies in Kavre district, and which is east to Kathmandu. According to traditional beliefs, Lord Vishnu gave this pole to Indra to protect himself.
Indra Jatra is interesting because it lets people perform traditional dance and to pull the chariot of Goddess Kumari (living goddess), Lord Ganesh, and Lord Bhairav in the ancient parts of Kathmandu.
This festival is further extended to 7 days, and on Nanicha Yaa Day, people pull the chariots and take them to these places: Naradevi, Nhyokha, Ason, Indrachwok and Hanuman Dhoka.
Indra Jatra has its own significance, for it marks the beginnings of the 2 greatest festivals of Hindu Nepalese, that is to say, Dashain and Tihar.