Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Chariot Ritual

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Chariot Ritual (Sanskrit: bhimarata): the birthday celebration for an elder of Kathmandu, Nepal, upon reaching the age of 77 years, 7 months and 7 days.

Sanskrit: Chaitya Tibetan: Chor ten

The Chariot Ritual is a special birthday celebration. It is practiced by both Hindus and Buddhists and celebrated when an elder of Kathmandu Valley reaches the age of 77 years, 7 months, 7 days, 7 hours and 7 minutes. To commemorate this day, the Buddhists are required to commission the construction of a stupa, an architectural reliquary mound. If unable to build a full sized stupa the family can sponsor a small three-dimensional metal sculpture, or a hammered metal relief sculpture, or lastly a painting.

Jeff Watt 7-2004 [updated 6-2017]

See the article "The Bhimaratha Rite and Nepali Art" by Pratapaditya Pal.