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The Endearing Spirit of Madhav Narayan Festival

  • Hindu women devotees take a holy bath in the Bagmati River in Pashupatinath Temple during the Madhav Narayan festival that marks a month of fasting and the study of the Swasthani book.

  • The month-long festival of Madhav Narayan requires devotees to pay respects to the Char (Four) Narayans whose temples are in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Sanhku, and Panauti. This is also called Pardes Yatra.

One of the lesser known festival of the valley, the Madhav Narayan Festival, nevertheless, commands a following of zealous devotees who throng the pardesh every year to pay homage to Char Narayans (Four Narayans).  

The Madhav Narayan Festival is a month-long festival that starts from Paush Sukla Purnima and ends in Magh Sukla Purnima. On this month, devotees of Madhav Narayan and Goddess Swasthani share mythical stories and folk tales of Lord Shiva. For me, it was a great opportunity to document the orthodox belief in God that we Nepalis enjoy and are deferential of. It was intriguing and interesting to see participation from little children who are yet to learn the greatness of God.  I guess, the wishful thinking we live with is the best unbeaten optimism of life. It’s enthralling to witness such involvement; their patience and endurance is just surprising and breathtaking.