The Basleshwori Jatra
Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Thapa
Every year, the Basleshwori jatra is held in the Jayabageshwori area. The jatra was successfully conducted this year, by the joint effort of the Newar communities from Naxal, Chabahil, Sifal and Jayabageshwori.
There is a myth that Goddess Basleshwori was the wife of God Shiva. They had a daughter called Naxal-Bhagawati. The chariot of Sifal-Jayabageshwori area is known as Basleshwori Mai’s chariot and the chariot of Naxal is called Naxal Bhagawati’s chariot. They meet every year during this jatra, celebrated within the Newar communities. Unlike other chariots, these chariots are not dragged as they don’t have the wheels. They have to be carried by the local Newari men.
There is a belief that Basleshwori comes down from Pashupati to Sifal for a tour. During the tour, the pilgrims worship her with flowers and red colors. The pilgrims even make her drink the home-made alcohol products. Then, the Basleshwori rath is kept in Sifal that night as she gets pleased with her pilgrims. The next day the pilgrims take her back to Pashupati-area, but Lord Shiva refuses to open the doors for a drunken wife. Then, she is taken back to Jayabageshwori. The Naxal-Bhagawati hears about mistreat by her beloved father to her beloved mother and gets outraged. She goes to convince her father to let her mother enter Pashupati. Then Lord Shiva denies to open doors for her as well. The Naxal Bhagawati rath then hit against the doors of Pashupati depicting the enraged Naxal-Bhagawati by knocking the doors thrice. If the door breaks or if it opens, then it is considered as a sign of good luck. The upcoming year will be blessed by Baleshwori as well as Naxal-Bhagawati. In case, the door is not opened, the Chabahil Ganesh comes to rescue his mother and sister. He takes the Basleshwori Rath along with him and the Naxal-Bhagawati Rath goes back to her place in Naxal.
The same ritual is performed every year.