When I was in Nepal ready to embark for the Everest Circuit Trek my flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airstrip got delayed by one day due to poor visibility on the mountain. I took that day to walk around Kathmandu and in particular explore Durbar Square. Little did I know I was walking right into the festival of Indra Jatra and the Kumari.
The crowds were enormous. As you can see in these photos, people were hanging all over the buildings and spilling out into the square.
Here the divine couple Shiva and Parvati overlook the gathering from the rail of one of the buildings
After quite a lot of ritual and formal celebration, the Kumari finally came out carried in her royal palanquin to bless the people and receive homage from the King and other government officials.
I was fortunate to have been at the square at just the right time for the festival. As I walked back to my lodging through the crowded streets, night began to fall. Dozens of young girls dressed in red saris were lighing candles and leaving them along the streets as they walked home with their families. The blessings of Durga were received with great happiness.