121932831-612x612Bhimsena is the deity of commerce and industry, and of fortunes. The Newar community in general and the business community in particular revere the deity for good business. On the midnight of the ninth day of the lunar dark fortnight in Bhadra (Bhadra Krishna pachaya), August/Sept, the Bhimsena jatra (festival or outing of Bhimsen) is held in Patan every year with spectacular shows of the festival. After the special festival offerings made to Lord Bhimsena, the priest brings the idol of Bhimsen from the third floor of the three-storey temple at Mangal bazaar in Patan, and sets it in the sanctum of a chariot made ready for the outing of the deity.

 

THE BHIMSENA TEMPLE AT MANGAL BAZAAR IN PATAN WAS ONCE A ONE-STOREY BUILT IN 1547. KING SRINIVAS MALLA REBUILT IT IN THE CURRENT THREE-STOREY TEMPLE IN 1601. THE THREE-STOREY PAGODA HAS AN UNUSUAL RECTANGULAR PLAN THAT SETS IT APART FROM OTHER TEMPLES IN PATAN. THE CURRENT TEMPLE WAS COMPLETELY REBUILT IN 1682 AFTER A FIRE AND WAS LATER RESTORED AFTER THE 1934 EARTHQUAKE, AND AGAIN IN 1967.

Devotees carry the deity on a chariot on shoulder poles around the town with pomp and fanfares. Traditional Newari musical bands leading the chariot play devotional tunes, and some people sing hymns to the deity on the way to the town and back to the temple. The procession is taken through the narrowly ancient streets of Patan, in route that roughly encircles the temple. Throughout the route, people have spilled across the streets where there is much merry-making, which is evident by the gales of laughter mixing with the noise blaring from all direction. The atmosphere is enlivened by the strong aroma of home-made incense. Most of the devotees are burning incense right and left and the aroma hunts the streets numbing every sense, demanding torrents of tear as sacrifice. There is ancient magic afloat in the air, the kind that makes people wish that the merry making time would last forever. All eyes are scanning the horizon, or at least the last galli or the chowk visible, before the buildings closed in on the either side.

Devotees coming from the surrounding villages gather at mangal bazar, and they make offerings to lord bhimsena and watch the fabulous outing of the deity.

Some devotees follow the procession with lighted incense in their hands. It is believed that this act of devotion contribute to their success in business throughout the year