Godawari (Kailali), Jan 14: President Bidya Devi Bhandari Thursday inaugurated the Kumbha Mela (religious festival) organised at Godawari, the holy place of Kailali, on the occasion of the Makar Sakranti, an auspicious Hindu festival that falls on the 1st of Magh in the Nepali lunar calendar.
On the occasion, the President observed Gaura and Deuda, the famous and traditional dances of the far-western region. Prior to this, President Bhandari performed special puja as per set rituals at the Kumbha Batika (garden) wishing for the welfare of the nation.
The President was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Bhim Bahadur Rawal.
The event was organised with a view to promoting Nepal’s vedic religion and culture and local tourism, and will run for a month.
January 15, 24, February 4, 8 and 13 have been set for observing the Mahasnan (holy bath) during the festival. Before the inauguration of the festival, a Kalash yatra was taken out from the Bandevi Temple which concluded upon reaching the Kumbha Batika.
Godawari, the holy site of Kailali lies some 23 kilometers north of Dhangadhi. Its name follows the Godawari River which has a religious significance as it is believed that the Hindu saint Gautam meditated here and Lord Shree Krishna, Bhisma Pitamaha and five Pandavs, the mythical characters in the Mahabharata took bath in the river. The Kumbha Mela is organised every year.