The Horse Racing Festival of Ghora Jatra is a kind of sports festival which includes horse racing.  It takes place in the Tundhikhel, the central parade grounds of Kathmandu.  Originally it was a local celebration of the killing of the demon, Tundhi, who gave the inhabitants a lot of grief.  When he was finally slain, the people of Kathmandu celebrated by running a herd of horses over the demon's gigantic chest.  Nowadays the beating of the horses hooves on the ground under which the demon is buried, is believed to keep him underground.  This used to be a festival involving the King and the Kumari worshiping in a nearby temple before the parade of horses.  



 Nowadays the royal razmatazz is absent from the celebrations, the Kumari observes the proceedings from a balcony of the Nepal Airlines building overlooking the Tundhikel. 



its popular specatacle with people coming from all over to watch, there are horse races (if the horses run fast its good omen for the coming year).  cycle races, displays or military discipline and fusllades by the army, gymnatstic compatitions and so on.





 At the same time, in Patan, a mock Ghora Jatra, with a drunken rider atop a single old nag who has also been fed rakshi, is celebrated in response to an incident many years ago when riders from Patan were not admitted to the Kathmandu horse races.


Giddyups and Pranams,
Billy