Rato Machhindranath (Bhoto Jatra)

Posted in Festivals at 1:44 am by www.PHALANO.com

By Rajesh KC

Machhindranath, Buddhist deity of water and rain. Revered by medieval kings in Kathmandu Valley as guardian deity of Kathmandu Valley. Said to have been other names Padampani, Lokeswor, Avalokiteswor, Aryavalokotiswor, Karunamaya. Regarded as fish incarnation of LOKESWOR (hence also known as Matsyendranath) Distinguished as RATO MACHHENDRANATH (red) of patan and SETO MACHHENDRANATH (white) of Kathmandu. Feted in various festivals like BHOTO JATRA and public bathing ritual.

Following the construction, the chariot is towed through the streets of Patan by throngs of devotees every day. Each day, it is put to rest in one of the many venerated spots in the city.This goes on for a month until it comes to rest in Jawalakher and end with the Bhoto Jatra, another major festival, during which the bejewelled ‘bhoto’ of Machhindranath is displayed to the public.

The black velvet, jeweled vest (Bhoto) also has its own story. Legend says it was given to a farmer by Karkot Naga in reward for curing eye ailment of his Queen. But it got stolen. After sometime when the farmer was attending Machhindranath festival at Jawalakhel, he saw someone wearing the same vest. A quarrel ensued between the farmer and the man wearing the vest. Karkot Naga was also at the festival in human form. He settled the quarrel and submitted the Bhoto to Machhindranath for safe keeping. From that day on every year the Bhoto is shown to the people assuring them that it is safe.

It is also believed that the Rato Machhindranath was brought from Assam, India by a farmer to Lalitpur valley to prevent a drought during the rice season. The longest running chariot festival in Lalitpur recreates this event in hope for good rain. It is known as Bundyo to local Newars. The festival begins with the construction of the chariot in Pulchowk and ends with the Bhoto Jatra festival in Jawalakhel. It is celebrated by Buddhists and Hindus of Newar community by carrying the chariot to different places in the town of Patan.

All pics (taken with in 7 years) by Rajesh KC


  1. keshuvko.blogspot.com said,

    August 26, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Nice pictures. I dont know much about photography, but I also want to capture moments in the way you have done. Any suggestion?

  2. Rabindra/Sydney said,

    September 13, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Thank you Rajesh Ji, Its reallly the wonderful festival, I miss this festival .
    Its a nice picture.

  3. Durlav Bogati, Dailekh - Nepal said,

    September 18, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Dear Rajesh Jee,
    Thanku You very much for your information.

  4. sydney said,

    October 15, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    gud presentation and gud picture 2. but he can explain more thing of the festival like when it start, at which places it stand etc.

  5. soni,uae said,

    October 20, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    happy to see about the jatra its been lon time i could not participate
    you make me remind of all
    thanks alot
    nice picture
    hope to see more
    tihar going to start and im excited to see the picture of mandevs
    as we make in nepal
    and the new yera that celebrated
    thanks alot

  6. uttam usa said,

    October 23, 2007 at 12:01 am

    thanke rajash dai for picture
    whatis g.p. koirala doing there .that is not his duty. do work for country not try to become king of nepal

  7. regina london said,

    October 24, 2007 at 6:09 am

    I’m very happy.seen that,regina and dhan shrestha.i will come to my contry asap.

  8. Shirish Sydney said,

    November 15, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    i m very happy to see my home town and our culture….but what is that girija doing there…there should be our king, it is also our culture …

  9. buddhi grg emirates flight catering D.I.A. u.a.e said,

    December 15, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    oooooooooo hhhhhhh ,
    what a nice pic but i missing our country and our invorement , cultura. i miss a lat .

  10. gopal uk said,

    December 18, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    i will miss this festival

  11. maks, sydney said,

    January 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

    im really glad to see it……..thanks mate ….u made my day delighted

  12. Rajan/oklahoma,USA said,

    February 20, 2008 at 12:58 am

    We Nepalese are really rich in culture.jaso gara j bhana jata sukai laijau malai yo man ta mero Nepali ho..

  13. Naressh/kathmandu said,

    March 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks Rajesh ji ………for every thing u have don ………… it is a great job u have don, i woukd like to point out on ………………….it is easy to appriceat on others,but Rajjesh ji try to understand me…………..

    From the Start of the profile you made, Think there is some thing bad which may create cool wars in between Buddhist and Hindu which had never been before, pointing Rato machindra is deity of Buddhist which is 100% wrong……….it is not a solo culture of Buddhist it belongs to both Buddhist and Hindu.During the period of Hindu King (There is not a Buddhist king in a valley ) Rato Machindranath was brought here from Assam.

  14. Manoj/shanghai said,

    March 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I am able to explain my foreign friends in shanghai hows the traditional festivals looks like in our country.

  15. ANup/minnesota said,

    April 6, 2008 at 9:06 am

    nepal rulzzzzzzzz

  16. sydney said,

    April 20, 2008 at 10:33 am

    well what is girija doing. this is supposed to be carried out by the king. well there is a lot of traditions in which the newars require a king. i think the king deserves a little respect if traditions.

  17. raj,cyprus said,

    April 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    thanks for doing such a good job.the value or this site will know only those people who are in foreign countries and who love culture and religoius

  18. Digambar kapali, Malaysia said,

    April 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    i mised ratha jatra, coming soon. thank’s for pcs.

  19. durga bahadur thada magar,BAHRAIN said,

    April 26, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    dherai dherai dhannebaad rajesh ji yekdam ramro ramro photoharu herna payekoma khushi lagyo. pheri pani dhannebaadchha.

  20. Binod Saymi(Aala) said,

    May 20, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Very Nice Kipaas(Photos) of BUNGADEO and YALA KUMARI. The photoes of NEKHU-CHIKEGU may be rare one. Thanks to Phalano.com in keeping such photoes which comes one day in 12 years.

    The photo of BUNGADEO with background blue sky (evening event) is very nice one. I liked it.

  21. anu, Melbourne said,

    May 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    hi dear.. foto haru sarai ramro lagyo tara girija lai Raja ko thau ma daekhda mann royo..yo hamro culture lai milena jasto lagcha. uslai pap lagcha .aru pani jatra ko foto herne dhoko cha. specially patan sundhara ko.Iam from there. once again thanks..

  22. shashi acharya said,

    May 26, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    well picturised, a very good and detailed information , keep it up. As i am a teacher and in my curriculum i have to teach about macchendranath , so its sincerely a great help for me. Thank You.

  23. Ankit manandhar kathmandu,Nepal said,

    May 30, 2008 at 7:28 am

    this is a nice photos
    keep it up.

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