Mayors from Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese cities on Friday attended Nepal's biggest annual Hindu festival dedicated to rain God Indra, officials said here on Friday. The mayors were among the 48 foreign guests from India, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Japan and the US who took part in the eight-day Indra Jatra at the invitation of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), which organised the event.
This is the first time that the KMC has invited foreign guests to the event, which began on Friday. "Inviting foreign guests to attend the festival is aimed at promoting 'Visit Nepal Year 2020', with a target to attract two million tourists. The festival will help to showcase Nepali culture at international level," KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya told reporters here on Thursday.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation (India) mayor Sardar Avtar Singh, vice chair of Lanzhou Committee of the CPPCC (China) Jiang Xiaohong, Lhasa City (Tibet, China) mayor Guo Guo and Thimpu City (Bhutan) mayor Kinlay Dorjee attended the function. During the festival, chariot of God Ganesh, God Bhairav and Living Goddess Kumari are pulled around the Kathmandu city and traditional dances of various deities performed and traditional musical instruments played in the main thoroughfare of the capital city.
Living Goddess is a tradition of worshipping young prepubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy in Hindu and Buddhist religions. The word Kumari is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Kaumarya', meaning "princess". The foreign guests will stay for five days in Nepal. The KMC plans to take the guests on a tour of various historical and cultural sites in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur cities, municipality, KMC mayor Shakya said.
Amidst tight security, Nepal President Vidya Devi Bhandari visited the Basantapur Durbarsquare to observe the Indra jatra festival as per age old tradition. Nepal tourism minister Yogesh Bhattarai was also present on the occasion.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)