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Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year Triple Bonanza

The 2012 New Year's day coincides with the annual bathing ceremony of Janabahaa Dyo In the evening of January 1, the deity will be brought out from its sanctum in the main temple in the Janabahaa complex and carried to the raised platform in the south-east corner of the courtyard, where the image will be given a shower with holy water, milk and honey after an elaborate tantric ceremony. The bathing water is brought from the holy river known as Bhacha Khushi, located just below Byasah (Bijeshwari) by a group of caretaker priests the day before. From the next day onwards, a week-long process of repainting the deity from head to toe by designated caretaker priests of Janabahaa takes place in the open courtyard, from approximately 10 am to 3 pm every day.

The living goddess Kumari will grace the deity's ritual bath in person. This is one of the thirteen times in the year that the Kumari comes out of her beautiful temple abode in the Kathmandu Durbar Square.

The audio tour of Janabahaa that has been planned for quite some time will also be launched the same day, just before the bathing ceremony.

If you come to Janabahaa at about 4 pm in the afternoon, you will be guaranteed a few hours of festive atmosphere, local music, centuries-old religious tradition and a religiously awakened crowd. If you carry a large camera, you might even be invited to sit on one of the chairs reserved for the press with a good vantage point.

Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Janabahaa Audio Tour in the Offing

An electronic guided audio tour is currently being rolled out on a trial basis in the living heritage site of Janabahaa. This kind of service is being made available for the first time anywhere in Nepal. The automated tour provides not only authentic and updated information about the historic and cultural monuments and practices found inside the Janabahaa premises, but also gives insights on the past, present and future efforts for the conservation of this "open museum" that is of great importance to the Buddhist community of Kathmandu.

This new service, designed for the benefit of visitors to Janabahaa, was announced via this blog a few months now. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers in both hemispheres of the globe, this service is now all ready to be launched. The content of this new offering was circulated to a large number of well-wishers and friends of Janabahaa, and many of them responded with encouragement and highly practical suggestions for the initiation of this novel task.
Watch this space over the next several days for updates on its actual launch date. Meanwhile, here is the full content for you to listen to, even without being physically present at Janabahaa. You may wish to download this to your mobile device and bring it with you, together with a pair of earphones, the next time you drop in at Janabahaa.

Click on the link below to listen to or download the guided audio tour recording.
Janabahaa Audio Tour