Kathmandu, 27 Sept: At the invitation of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, guests from different countries have arrived here in Kathmandu to observe the Indra Jatra festival, a historical and cultural festival of the Kathmandu Valley.
With the erection of Lingo (wooden pole) along with Indradhowj at Basantapur, the historical Indra Jatra festival commenced formally from Tuesday.
This year, 20 guests from different countries and the mayors of cities having friendly ties with the KMC have arrived.
Spokesperson of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Nabin Manandhar said that mayors of some cities from China, the USA and South Korea have already landed in Kathmandu.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been inviting the guests for the past five years from the cities having friendly ties.
The eight-day festivity, having religious and cultural significance, is observed with much fanfare mainly by the Newar community in the Kathmandu Valley.
It is also marked in districts such as Kavrepalanchowk and Dolakha. The Indra Jatra, the main day of the festival, falls on the Bhadra Shukla Chaturdashi, the fourth day of the waxing moon as per the lunar calendar. September 28 is the main day of the festival this year.
The government has also announced a public holiday in the Kathmandu Valley on that day while security provisions have been beefed up in the city with the deployment of personnel of Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Nepal and volunteers from the city.
As part of the festival, a lingo is brought from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu and installed on the chariot at Hanumandhoka at Basantapur Durbar Square.
A number of ceremonies are organized during the eight-day festival including Lakhe Naach and Pulu Kisi procession.
The chariot procession, a major part of the festival, involves pulling of a big chariot of Kumari and two smaller chariots of Ganesh and Bhairab along the thoroughfares of the city.
Preparations are on to arrange the visit of the foreign guests to Hadigaun, Swayambhu and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the key cultural heritages in the valley.