The 135th birth anniversary of Phalgunanda Lingdel revered as the Mahaguru(great religious leader) by the followers of the Kirat religion is being celebrated with enthusiasm in various districts of Province 1 today.
The government declared Lingdel as a national luminary in 2009. He is the 16th national luminary of Nepal. He is remembered for his outstanding role in bringing social reforms.
In eastern Nepal, indigenous Kiratis celebrate Phalugananda Jayanti on 25th Kartik in the Nepali lunar calendar.
On the occasion, a public holiday in all eight local levels of Panchthar district and a few local levels in Ilam and Taplejung districts.
Revellers from both Nepal and India have flocked to Panchthar to pay homage to the grave of Phalgunanda at Silati. Likewise, they have also flocked to Phidim Municipality — Panchthar district headquarters — Labrekuti and various Kirat Manghim in neighbouring Taplejung, Ilam, Tehrathum and Dhankuta districts.
Phalgunanda was born on November 10, 1885 (Kattik 25, 1942 BS) in Chukchinamba of Ibhang -5, Ilam to Hansamati Limbu and Jaganbaj Limbu. He was the third son of the Limbu couple. He had died on April 4, 1949 (Chaita 22, 2005 BS). He was highly respected and remembered for his outstanding contributions in bringing the social reforms at the time.