Chariot festival of Machhendranath, Nepal
postmarked with a Nepal Coronation 1975 stamp
- - - - - - -
The chariot procession known as Rato (Red) Machhendranath is the biggest event in Patan, Nepal. The festival honors Machhendranath, the god of rain and plenty, who is worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists in different incarnations, and has shrines at both Patan and in the village of Bungamati, a few miles south of Patan. The festival is held when the monsoon season is approaching and is a plea for plentiful rain.
During the festival celebrations the image of the god that is carved on wood is taken from the temple and paraded around the town on a huge wheeled chariot that is pulled by devotees.