By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Tens of thousands of devotees have packed the old palace courtyard in the heart of Nepal’s capital to celebrate the feast of Indra Jatra, marking the return of the festival season in the Himalayan nation after it was scaled down because of the pandemic. Kumari, a young girl who is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal as the living goddess, left her temple palace for the first time in two years and was driven around the center of Kathmandu in a wooden chariot pulled by devotees. Nepal’s president and highest officials also lined up to get her blessing, together with the tens of thousands of others. Last year’s festivals were scaled down amid a surge in coronavirus cases.