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Ghode Jatra Festival of Horses & Pahachare

Ghode Jatra Horse Festival KathmanduGhode Jatra the Festival of Horses or Parade of horses is a festival that is loved by many in Nepal. This festival also means Horse Racing Day. Ghode Jatra is held at the month of chaitra on new moon day (the dark lunar fortnight or waning moon) (Aunsi Krishna Paksha ) according to the Hindu calendar or Nepal sambat calendar. During Ghode Jatra another Newari Festival also falls on the same day, this Festival is known as Pahachare.

Pahachare basically is the festival to welcome to the new year, In this festival all the family members come together and celebrate with gusto and alot of various food items. The environment is a joyous one and the faces of everyone is filled with happiness. In Paacharey the family members visit various temples of the kakthmandu city, Mainly, Bhadrakaali situated in sahid gate just a few meters before Tudhikhel. Mahankaal which is right beside Tudhikhel and Sankata which is in the heart of New road. These three gods are worshipped and given various offerings to please them and make sure that the upcoming year is a happy and prosperous one for the entire family. Read more about Pahachare…

Ghode Jatra
Ghode Jatra Sketch. image src: nepalcycling.org

Origin of Ghode Jatra:

The origin of Ghode Jatra is something that is unknown and as years have passed since the first Ghode Jatra the story of who introduced the Jatra has changed and the real story is unknown. 

Myths on why Ghode Jatra is celebrated:

Legend has it that there was a demon known as Tundi that feasted on the people who used to visit Tudhikhel as it used to reside there. So, The people of kathmandu after killing the Demon Tundi , rode horses over its body as a celebration on killing the demon. This is also a reason why during Ghode Jatra horses are rode and the belief is that the galloping of the horses keeps the Demon Tundi’ s spirit away from Kathmandu city. 

Other Newari & Nepali Festivals

Theres another story to Ghode jatra as well where it says that the kings of kathmandu used to visit the Kumari and worship her, and the chariot that they used to take the kumari in was called Ghodey. These very Myths are something that keeps the Jatras to keep going on for years and years. 

Ghode Jatra Festival
Ghode Jatra: Horse parade at Tundikhel in Kathmandu city. Image credited to Nepal Tourism Board

Functions during Ghode Jatra:

During Ghode Jatra the military of Nepal has a huge competitive sport of Horse racing , during this event , the military personnel also show various drills, stunts , and other various military talents. The band of military themselves also play in Tudhikhel in the presence of the Prime minister, Ministers and the Head of the country as well. Though before democracy Ghode Jatra used to only be shown in the presence of the King, Nowadays , it is shown to the Higher ups and the people who have influential political power in the country.
Ghode Jatra’s holiday used to only be given in valley itself, but nowadays as its fame has widespread among the entire country , It is a public holiday to the entire country , where in various places of the country, the army men of the particular area tend to show various stunts and drills to the local people.  

With these words, We would like to say Enjoy the event shown in Tudhikhel if you are in Kathmandu

Happy Ghode Jatra & Paacharey



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