Nuwakot is one of the seventy-seven districts of Nepal and is a part of province 3. Nuwakot is an idle example of a historically noteworthy location where time stops. Among Nuwakot’s many ancient traditions, Devi Jatra, or Sindhure Jatra is one of the conspicuous festivals celebrated in this district. Sindhure Jatra is said to be celebrated even before the Malla period and is celebrated to worship the Goddess Bhairabi. Goddess Bhairabi is a patron Goddess of Nuwakot. This festival starts from Chaitra Sukla Chaturdashi (14th day of the bright fortnight according to the lunar calendar) and goes for 12 days. A major part of the festival is completed in the first three days. Major rituals in the festival include:
1. Erecting two 63-ft poles at Bhairabi temple and at the maternal home of Goddess Bhairabi,
2. A purification ritual on the first day where the Living Goddess Kumari washes a Dhami (shaman) as an act of purification to prepare for the summoning,
3. A Bajracharya guru summoning the Goddess Bhairabi in the body of a Dhami (Shaman),
4. The pulling of the chariot of Goddess Bhairabi to Devighat on the second day, and
5. A sacrificial ritual at the end of the third day which is quite inappropriate for the faint of heart.
On the second day of the festival, the guru initiates a puja (prayer) where he scatters orange vermillion powder and the attendees follow this by smearing the power on each other. This is where the festival gets its name “Sindhure” from. The rest of the festival follows traditional feasts and pujas. The festival finally ends on the 12th day with the Chhyama puja which is a ritual performed by the guru to ask for forgiveness for any mistakes. The colorful markets, busy shopkeepers, enthralled musicians, awestruck devotees, jostling chariot pullers, the pervading fragrance of the ritual assortments and the occasional gun salute makes this festival quite an extraordinary experience that awakes all your senses.