Pay a Visit to Tundikhel

Kathmandu is a beautiful place filled with many exciting attractions. Most likely if you are planning to visit, you will find that there is a never ending number of monasteries, temples and shrines to see. There are also a number of colorful festivals to be enjoyed in Nepal. But sometimes a change from all this is most welcome. If that is how you feel, you might want to make your way to the eastern side of the old city of Kathmandu.

This is where you will find a massive green field known as Tundikhel. The field flanks the entire side of the old city and it is used by the public for a number of different events, such as sporting matches, army parades, concerts, conventions, exhibitions and even yoga practices. However, the most appealing event hosted here is that of the Ghore Jatra festival – a Nepali equestrian event that features horse racing and other horse-related activities. The festivities are based in legend and it helps to learn a bit more about Tundikhel in Nepal before attending the event itself.

According to legend, Tundikhel was once inhabited by the demon Tundi. This fearsome creature kept the citizens of Kathmandu in a state of permanent fear. When he eventually died, the townsfolk rode their horses over his gigantic corpse again and again in celebration. Ever since the Ghora Jatra has been held on this site, with the belief that the trampling of the horse’s hooves on the turf is what keeps the demon’s evil spirit from returning to torment the people of Kathmandu. In times gone by, the event had quite a lot of religious significance with the Royal Kumari worshiping at the Bhadra Kali Shirne on that day. But now it is mostly a sporting event with many different events – both equestrian and otherwise – taking place on this massive green area.

If you are not visiting during Ghora Jatra, you may find it interesting to visit the many important landmarks are located around Tundikhel in Nepal. One example is located on the south-western border of the parade ground or field. It is the 59.29 meter high tower known as the Dharahara or Bhimsen Stambha. The tower was built by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1832. It is complimented by the Sundhara fountains, complete with golden water spouts, which are located at the foot of the tower. All of this makes for an interesting detour of the average tour of Kathmandu.