Local people of Bhaktapur pull the Rath of the god Bhairav and goddess Bhadrakali on the occasion of Bisket Jatra
Bisket Jatra is Bhaktapur’s weeklong festival that marks the ancient solar Nava Barsha (New Year). The Jatra starts after a special Tantric ritual in the Bhairab temple in Taumadhi Tole in Bhaktapur. Bhairav and Bhadrakali are then placed in large chariots (locally known as Rathas) and pulled by locals through crowds of cheering onlookers.
Bisket Jatra is a nine days long festival that is celebrated at the end of Chaitra. The Bisket Jatra especially signifies the end of a year and the start of a new year on the Bikram Sambat calendar. The Jatra focuses on pulling chariots of two deities one god Bhairav, and the other goddess Bhadrakali. The chariots, pause for a tug of war between the city’s eastern and western sides and then move down a steep road that leads to a river where a Lingam 25 m high is erected. In the evening the following day, the pole is pulled down, again in a tug of war, and as the pole crashes then the official new year commences. Together with Jibro Chedne Jatra and Sindoor Jatra, Bisket Jatra is also celebrated in Thimi and Balakhu. The festivities conclude with several days of spiritual entrancement, dancing, and enjoying with families.