The Rath Makers

April 14, 2016 , by Bikkil Sthapit, Leave your thoughts
The three days long festival of Seto Matsyendranath (also known as Janabaha Dyo, Aryavalokitesvara, Karunamaya) is taking place, this year, on the first week of Baisakh, starting from 2nd baisakh (14th April). But before this yearly festival starts, Newar Community come together to create the 48 feet tall chariot for Karunamaya who'll be brought from Jana Bahal, Indrachowk.
Traditionally, the chariot is a collective creation of Jyapu, Sayami and Chitrakar clan of the Newar Community. Jyapus create the top part of the chariot, Sayamis make the wheels and the painting elements on all the four wheels will be carried out by Chitrakar clan.

“However, the Sayamis haven’t been taking part in chariot making for many decades. We, the Jyapus from Tukanbahal, have been making the entire chariot for almost 40 years now.” says Tirtha Maharjan, the assistant supervisor of the chariot making team. “One member from 39 families volunteer for 5 days to complete this chariot. This time we have an additional 8 volunteers from Lalitpur to help us out with the wheel.” adds Maharjan.

  What?   When and Where?
  Guthi Sansthan allocates budget for the chariot.   After the Pahachare festival is over.

Maharjans from Tukanbahal brings all the pieces from the storage in Kamaladi Ganesh premises.



Starts assembling the chariot   For 5 days. Jamal, beside Ghantaghar.
Chitrakars finish painting all the four wheels.   5th day of chariot making. Jamal

Bajracharyas, the priest clan, bring the idol of White Machhindranath from Jana Bahal, Kel Tol.

  2nd Baisakh. Jamal
The chariot is pulled from Jamal to Ason.   2nd Baisakh. Day 1 of the festival.
It is pulled from Ason to Hanumandhoka.   3rd Baisakh. Day 2 of the festival.
It is pulled from Hanumandhoka to Lagan.   4th Baisakh. Day 3 of the festival.
The festival ends before/on the full moon night.   Lagan tole.
The festival ends before/on the full moon night.   Lagan tole.
Photos & text by Bikkil Sthapit.

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