Pulukisi Jatra | Indra Jatra in Bhaktapur

Indra Jātrā, most commonly known as Yenyā (Nepal Bhasa: येँयाः).Indra Jatra, or Yenya Punhi as it is more generally known, is Kathmandu, Nepal‘s largest religious  festival celebrate by Newar community . In Nepal Bhasa, Yenya Punhi means “Kathmandu’s Festival.” The celebrations are divided into two parts. Masked dances of deities and demons, exhibitions of sacred icons, and tableaus in honor of the deity Indra, the king of heaven, characterize Indra Jatra. KumariJatra, the chariot parade of the living goddess Kumari, is the other festival. The festival is primarily dedicated to Lord Indra, the monarch of heaven, for timely rain and a good harvest. It is also one of the most important festivals in Bhaktapur, which features a variety of celebratory events based on various local folk tales than Kathmandu.

King Gunakamadeva began the Indra Jatra to commemorate the establishment of Kathmandu in the 10th century. Because the ceremonies follow the lunar calendar, the dates are subject to change. The Lunar calendar dates Indra Jatra from the twelfth day of the waxing moon to the fourth day of the following waning moon in the month of Bhadra. It is observed in all three districts of the Kathmandu Valley, as well as other regions with Newar communities, such as Kavre and Dolakha.

Yama: Dyo (Yama:cha) thanigu, Indrayani Jatra, Ya:mata, Mupatra, and Pulukisi Haigu are some of the major festivities that take place in Bhaktapur during Indra Jatra.

Day 1: The Indra Jatra begins on the Twelfth day after the new moon as taken as Forth day after Indra Jatra celebrates in Kathmandu and is known in Bhaktapur as “Yama: Dyo(Yamacha) Thanigu,” which means “the erecting of the Yama God.” It is also thought to be a manifestation of Indra. Small wooden poles with the image of Yama God are placed in several locations throughout Bhaktapur. For a whole Eight-day period, these are left constructed. On this day, people who tie ‘Janai’-Doro in their wrists during Janai Purnima, also known as ‘Gunhi Punhi,’ remove ‘Janai’-Doro from their hands and tie it in the pole.

Day 3: Bhaktapur celebrates Indrayani Jatra on the fourteenth day after the new moon. Goddess Indrayani is brought in a chariot across Bhaktapur city, followed by a large number of local people, from her Goddess residence at Khauma Tole, Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The chariot is then taken up to Siddhapokhari, Bhaktapur’s largest pond, also known as Ta: Pukhu. Because there will be large local worship gatherings the next day, Goddess Indrayani is kept there for the entire night.

Day 4: Because it is a full moon day, this day is referred to as Yenya Punhi. Punhi translates to “Full Moon” in the local dialect. This day, people from Bhaktapur start to Siddhapokhari in the morning. People bathe in this pong and pay homage to Goddess Indrayeni. Goddess Indrayani is returned to her Goddess abode later that evening, completing a cycle in Bhaktapur city.


Day 6: On the second day after the Full Moon, a rare event known as ‘Mupatra’ begins and concludes Yenya. A certain person is picked to represent himself as “Mu Patra,” and two other people are chosen to represent “Dhichas,” Mu Patra’s assistant known as Ministers. Mupatra wears a metal crown and is dressed in a Moghul-style regal outfit from the Malla period. He walks about Bhaktapur for three days, visiting the spots where Yama: Dyo was placed on the first day. MuPatra romes the pole three times with his Dhichas and strikes it with his sword. Mupatra is Indra’s demonic foe, according to legend.


On this particular day, there is also another event to keep an eye on. A set of three torches called ‘Ya Matta’ is carried throughout the city on a long stick by a member of the Sa:Mi Caste (Manandhar-Sayami) from this day to the last day. People attempt to glimpse the lights, which they are told will allow them to enter heaven. This echoes the notion of Indra and his mother being followed into heaven in the Indra Jatra mythology.

Day 7: A minor local Jatra, Chuma Gandyo: (Ganesh) Jatra, takes place on the third day after the full moon.


Day 8: Indra Jatra concludes on the fourth day after the full moon. ‘Pulukisi Jatra’ is a popular dish on this day. In English, the word KISI signifies Elephant in the native language. This day’s primary attraction is Pulukisi. Another important occasion is the ‘Masan/Pulu Bhaila Dyo Jatra. ‘In local slang, Masan refers to a cremation ground. As a result, the God Bhairav who resides in Masan is known as Masan Bhairav. In Nyatapola Square, we can observe a Pulu, a mat with an image of Bhairav painted on it, mounted on the wall of Bhairav Temple. A goat is sacrificed in the square adjacent to the temple during the day. The Pulu is then paraded around the major city festival circuit before being hoisted on the wall for the remainder of the year.

Pulu kisi, the Yerawat Elephant of Lord Indra, is transported throughout the city from Lakolachhen tole in quest of Mupatra later in the evening. It was carried by a group of persons who also rang the bell throughout the celebration. People from all around the city congregate to witness and celebrate Jatra along the festival route. It is also believed that this Pulukisi must avoid coming into contact with Mupatra, who is also traveling the city and hitting the Yama: Dyo pole. If this occurs, it is predicted that Pulukisi will assassinate MuPatra. As a result, people make certain that this does not occur.