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April 12, 2021

Nepal observes Ghode Jatra

President Vidya Devi Bhandari taking salute of honor from Nepal army during
Ghode Jatra festival

Kathmandu: A grand horse parade festival or Ghode Jatra in local terms- was observed at Tundikhle the central place of Kathmandu valley- which was graced by the presence of top officials of the government including President Bidya Devi Bhandari who took the salute of honor from the army on the special occasion on April 11, 2021.

The grand horse parade festival marks the day when the demon Tundi was killed here. Ghode Jatra, the Horse Racing Day falls in mid-March or early April. The fearful demon Tundi had terrorized the local people for a long time until one day he was killed.

Army personnel showing horse acrobatics

The people on his death had rejoiced by riding horses across his dead body. So people believe that that the clamor of horses’ hooves at Tundikhel during the festival of Ghode Jatra keeps the demon’s spirit at bay for the simple reason that the dead spirit of the demon still poses a threat to the city people in some way or the other.

People still believe that the faster the horses run, the quicker Tundi’s spirit will be trampled under the hooves of the horses. That’s why horse racing and all the acrobatics at Tudikhel are showcased on this day.

Army personnel ready for horse parade

The top brass officials of the Nepal army usually attend this festival in a grand manner in their uniforms along with the government officials and foreign diplomates. However, the general people are not allowed to enter the grounds of Tundikhel for security reasons. They can just gather around Tudikhel fences to watch the whole show.

Horse carriage used to bring top brass officials of the government

The army also takes it as an opportunity to display skills as paratroopers drop down from planes. Another event related to Ghode Jatra takes place at Bal Kumari in Patan where a horse is made to get intoxicated and an equally drunk horse rider ventures to ride it. People gathered around to shout to frighten and enrage the animal until it runs amuck with the rider clinging on to it.

Horse acrobatic attempt to cross the hurdle

It is really an exciting event for the tourists to watch and enjoy in a different cultural setting in Kathmandu valley.

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