The Shaman Festival of Nepal

Following a hint of online information about a shaman festival taking place at Gosaikunda lake, I decided to trek there in search of Nepal’s shamans. Even after reaching four days before the said festival, I did not know whether there will be any festival held. Nepal, like the rest of the world, was still struggling with the pandemic. Although there was officially no ‘lockdown’ in place, there was no surety about large events like Janai Purnima – the day when shaman festival takes place – being held.

My wait came to an end on the fourth day when people dressed in beautiful clothes and accessories were seen around the Shiva temple by the lake. Signing and dancing, hundreds of men and women made the place come alive. Shamans played traditional ‘dhyangro’ drum that features a beautiful ‘phurbu’ handle and is played with a snake-shaped stick in repetitive beats. The singing and dancing continued until almost midnight, when the beautiful full moon took a sneak-peek over the lake through the otherwise cloudy sky.

It was worth trekking to Gosaikunda – a feat I never thought I would perform. The trek made me realise my abilities and the shaman festival left me curious to learn more. This photo album is a collection of some of the pictures I took during the shaman festival of Nepal on 21st August, 2021. You might also be interested in reading about my experience of trekking to Gosaikunda and my article about the shaman festival published on Nepali Times.

Year: 2021

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