Kathmandu, October 14: Long and meandering lines stretched to all possible corners of Basantapur Durbar Square since the early morning of Thursday as the Taleju Bhawani Temple re-opened its gates for devotees after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Opened once a year on the day of Maha Navami, Taleju Bhawani is regarded as the main Goddess of Newa, also considered as the saviour of children. Also Read | Bangladesh: 3 Killed, 60 Injured in Communal Violence During Durga Puja Celebrations.
However, this year the doors were re-opened in the early morning after the administration of vaccines to people living in major urban areas of Nepal and depleting the number of COVID-19 cases. Also Read | Afghanistan: Taliban Creates Commission to Expel Unfavourable Members: Report.
Along with the jabs, Basantapur Durbar Square Supervision Office in coordination with local clubs this year distributed masks and sanitisers to devotees who were visiting the temple. “Last year it remained closed. I am feeling elated to visit the temple this year,” Nilkantha Gautam, a devotee told ANI after visiting the temple.
The Taleju Bhawani temple situated within the Hanumandhoka Durbar area is opened only on the day of Mahanawami or Ashwin Shukla Navami (the ninth day in the month of Asoj as per lunar calendar) every year.
Meanwhile, the Tulaja Bhawani Goddess was taken amidst a ritualistic procession to the Mulchowk area of the Hanumandhoka Durbar Area at the auspicious hour of 7:11 am on Thursday morning, the time was fixed by the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.
The statue of the Goddess will be kept at Mulchowk where a special puja would be offered at midnight on Nawami by sacrificing 54 male goats and 54 male buffaloes.
The grand statue of the Goddess Taleju is placed at Mulchowk and worshipped until the day of Bijaya Dashami. It is taken to the temple sanctum sanctorum on the morning of Bijaya Dashami amidst a religious procession.
“I am feeling extremely happy; the queue also proceeded forward without any obstacle. The fear of COVID-19 infection also seems to have lessened with the drop in cases. I pray for the end of coronavirus and protection of all and their healthiness,” Ram Kumari Baniya, another devotee told ANI.
The ancient temple which dates back to Malla-era opens only on the ninth day of the waxing moon in the month of Asoj as per the lunar calendar. Special worship is performed to Durga Bhawani today on the occasion of the Mahanawami and the ‘jamara’ which have been germinated is offered to the goddesses at various shrines.
Male goats, ducks, roosters and male buffalos are sacrificed at various temples dedicated to the Goddesses. Those who do not sacrifice animals or birds, offer fruits and vegetables to the Goddess.
The Durga Saptasati and Devi Strota scriptures are also recited at home and in temples on this day. As mentioned in the Markandeya Purana, Goddess Chamunda had slain the demon Raktabij on the day of Maha Navami. On this day, the security forces also perform what is called the ‘kot puja’ or worship of the armouries.
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