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Lalitpur Comes Alive with Rare Samyak Mahadan Festival

March 14, 2024
Samyak Mahadan Festival
Photo: Chirayu Shakya

Lalitpur, a city steeped in rich cultural heritage, is abuzz with the commencement of the Samyak Mahadan festival, a rare and auspicious celebration held once every five years in honor of Dipankara Buddha. The festivities kicked off with great zeal as 126 statues of gods, gathered from various Bihars and Maha Bihars across Lalitpur, were ceremoniously assembled at Mangal Bazar and then escorted to Nag Bahal, signifying the auspicious beginning of the festival.

Historically, the Samyak Mahadan festival was observed annually until 1861 BS. However, following the encroachment of land belonging to Samyak Guthi by King Rana Bahadur Shah, financial constraints led to a change in its frequency. Organizers then collected revenue and donations over five years to fund the event, transitioning it into a five-yearly celebration.

During this special occasion, devotees from diverse backgrounds come together to offer gifts, including monetary donations and food, to the deities, their guardians, monks, and the wider Buddhist community. The adorned statues are now on public display, inviting devotees to offer their prayers throughout the day.

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The Samyak Mahadan festival serves as a testament to the enduring traditions and religious fervor that define Lalitpur’s unique identity, drawing people together in a harmonious celebration of faith and cultural heritage.

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