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Salinadi Tour with Swosthani brata katha and Madhav Narayan

Salinadi Tour with Swosthani brata katha and Madhav Narayan

Salinadi Tour with Swosthani brata katha and Madhav Narayan Facts

Package: Salinadi Tour with Swosthani brata katha and Madhav Narayan
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Trip Start / Ends Kathmandu / Kathmandu
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Trip Overview

The monthlong, Hindu Swasthani Brata Katha festival began on Magh in Nepal, drawing devotees to the Salinadi River for a cleansing bath.

The month long ritual of Hindus begins from Push Shuklapurnima (full moon day) and ends a month after in Magh Shuklapurnima. The festival is marked by fasting especially by hindu married women for the entire month. It is believed that worshiping Goddess Swasthani will make your wishes come true.

Thousands of women and girls reached the Sali Nadi river and the Manohara river in Sankhu in the early morning to take a holy bath to mark the beginning of the festival.

Since, Sali Nadi is mentioned in the tale, the river has been the prime holy location for the devotees.

Swasthani Barta Katha is a hindu tale of gods and goddesses consisting of 31 chapters recited every day for a month. Every night a chapter of the tale is recited in every households of Nepal till the 31st day, the next full moon.

The festival concludes with an Ashwamegha Yagya, devotees worship god Shiva for whole night

During the festival faithful recite one chapter a day of the 31-chapter Swasthani Brata Katha, a holy scripture dedicated to Hindu goddess Swasthani. Devotees, particularly women among them, also fast during the month and pray for their family's wellbeing

Sankhu (alternative name: Sakwa (Nepal Bhasa: सक्व)) is the ancient Newar town located in the north-eastern corner of Kathmandu Valley in about 17 km from the capital city Kathmandu. Sankhu, also known as Shankharapur for its famous ancient Sankha-shaped town structure, was formerly divided into three Village Development Committee, namely, PukhulachhiSuntol and Bajrayogini. Recently the town of Sankhu has been declared as Shankharapur Municipality merging three above-mentioned VDCs and other neighbouring VDCs

This place is also known as the Eighty Siddhas, because there are four of five caves where the siddhas of India are said to have stayed. One of the caves is also said to have been the practice cave of Nagarjuna, and an image of the great master, which was originally in the cave, has been taken outside and placed some distance away.

The town used to have eight gates, at all the boundary entrances of the town. But many became dilapidated and disappeared, while five of them were reconstructed, namely the Bhau Dhwaha, Mhyamachaa Dhwakha, Dhunlla Dhwakha, Mahadyo Dhwakha and Naari Dhwakha. These gates used to have a paati (resthouse), Dhungedhara (Water Spout; Nepali: 'Dhunge"=Stone, 'Dhara"=Tap or spout) and ponds next to them but only a few still exist.

1. Bhau Dhwakha (Bride Gate) - Main entry gate of Sankhu, also the gate through which new brides are entered in the town.

2. Sangal Dhwakha or Mhyamachaa Dhwakha (Daughter Gate) - It is the gate from which to bid farewell to a daughter who is married off.

3. Dhunlla Dhwakha or Dya Dhwakha - This gate is important for Bajrayogini festival. All kinds of ritual processions including the chariot of Bajrayogini enter through this gate.

4. Mahadyo Dhwakha or Si Dhwakha: Dead bodies from Sankhu are taken out to funeral through this gate.

5. Naari Dhwakha : During the Shalinadi festival, the Holy god Madhav Narayan along with the devotees are taken in and out of the town through this gate. ‘Naari’ is the local name for Shalinadi river.

Before Malla Dynasty in Nepal, Sankhu was said to be a separate kingdom. The historical Durbar square (Layaku) has still been preserved.

According to the legend Manisailamahavadana, Bajrayogini instructed the priest Jogdev and the first King Sankhadev to build the town of Sankhu in the shape of a conch shell. The oldest inscription found in Sankhu is dated 538 AD. There are other stories which says the temple was built by King Prakash Malla in 1655. It is one of the best attraction of Sankhu for national and international tourists. It enshrines the main sacred representations of this site, Ugra-tara manifesting as Ekazati, which are said to give very powerful blessings, particularly the image in the upper temple. The image in the lower temple is red in colour with one face and four arms, two of which hold a skull-cup (kapala) and knife at her heart, and the remaining two hold a sword and an utpala (blue) lotus. In the upper temple is an identical image of Ugra-tara in bell metal, in which her left leg is outstretched. In the upper temple is the loom of the Nepali Princess Brhikuti, spouse of the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. In both the upper and lower temples, Bajrayogini is flanked Baghini and Singhini, the Tiger and Lion-headed Yoginis. In the same upper room in the upper temple is a solid bronze standing Buddha and a standing Lokeshvara. Below this shrine room is a small room containing self-arisen (Swayambhu) stupa in stone.

On the hill behind there is a courtyard in the centre of which is a basin containing the “Water of the Kalpa” which never dries up. In the building immediately to the left of the stairs, there is also an eternal fire or “Fire of the Kalpa”. Further up, on top of the hill, is the Mani-linga.

Sankhu is also the site of the month-long worship to the God Madhav Narayan. The vrata (fasting) is a tribute to the God through fasting, meditation and ritual bathing by women and men too. It begins on the full moon of the Nepali month of Poush and ends on the full moon of the Nepali month of Magh.

Men & women spend 30 days at the temple fasting, worshipping and meditating the god Madhav Narayan. It is believed men & women who perform this puja or fasting will have their wish granted. Outside the temple, the riverbank of the Sali Nadi is thought to be the site where Goddess Parvati bathed during her month of meditations dedicated to Swasthani.

The temple of Vajrayogini (Bajrayogini, Khadgayogini) is one of identity of Sankhu. It is situated on middle of hill. The goddesses are worshipped with high beliefs. The goddesses are known as 'Mhasukhwamaju' (Nepal Bhasa:म्हासुख्वा माजु) means yellow faced Mistress and 'Hyaunkhwaamaju' (Nepal Bhasa:ह्याउंख्वा माजु) means red faced Misstress. The nine days tradition jatra of Mhasukhwamaju and other Vaghini (Bagini), Singhini and a stupa shaped Buddha starts on the day of full moon (purnima) and continues for nine days. After the goddesses are brought to Sankhu by locals in a special chariots, they are kept on different places on the basis of rotation within four gates of Sankhu. The fifth day of jatra is known as main jatra (Nepal Bhasa:मु: जात्रा) when goddesses are taken around Sankhu within four gates. The day to bring the goddess into Sankhu is called 'to be brought down' (Nepal Bhasa:क्वाहाँ बिज्या) and the day to take goddess is called 'to be taken up' (Nepal Bhasa:थाहाँ बिज्या). These god and goddess are unique than that of other so its importance is high to inhabitants of Sankhu.

Month of Magh and Sali nadi is like synonyms. As hindus in Nepal worship goddess Swasthani and read story about her, many hindu devotees take fasting for a month and worship Madhavnaryan.

Salinadi Tour with Swosthani brata katha and Madhav Narayan Itinerary

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