Created 14-Apr-15
36 photos

Battle of the Chariot
We joined the crowds around the chariot in the Taumadhi Square adjoining the Nyatapola Pagoda; the highest in Nepal. The atmosphere was tense with apprehension of the tug of war, with the Chariot as the centerpiece. Ropes were tied to the massive timbers at either side of this massive chariot with its newly restored wheels and pagoda roof.
The rules appeared arbitrary with dozens preparing themselves for the pull.
The action started with the crowds shouting and whistling as the two teams struggled to gain headway. The tension mounted ans the seething mass of humanity created a cacophony of deafening noise while both teams struggle to gain control.
Eventually the left team got the upper hand and the wheels turned quickly to the left as the chariot moves up the hill, the dense crowds made it unwise to follow. There was a pause in the activity with the chariot apparently stuck at the top end of the narrow street.
After some time, all the activity stopped so it was a resounding victory of the left side team. But this was just a battle perhaps the war is yet to be concluded.

The second part involved the erection of two Yoshin poles. Both being fertility symbols. The first, smaller one was erected in the Potters square in a very wet morning It took nearly two hours for the erection marked by canting and intense cheers of applause. Almost as soon a the pole was up young guys climbed up the ropes a death defying stunt. They dropped rupee notes to cheers from the crowd below.

The second larger Yoshin pole was erected late in the day. The process started at about 6:30 PM. It was a long time coming as it was inched up with cross poles to hold each movement. There were deviations from the objective when the holders of the ropes swept off the men standing on the stone base of the pole. It was not until 10pm when to explosive cheering, the 100 foot pole shot up and swayed precariously over the crowds. Almost as soon as the pole stopped swaying a gang of youths started to climb up the ropes to the top. It was scary to watch as one mistake would cause instant death (as happened to one unfortunate climber the previous year. This time two climbers made it to the top.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Asia
Subcategory Detail:Nepal
Keywords:April, Bhaktapur, Biskit, Hindu, Jatra, Nepal, New, Year, festival