Harisiddhi

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Harisiddhi is an ancient settlement that started during the Lichhavi dynasty, some 1,300 years ago. Particularly the settlement within four ancient gates, is primarily a Newar village, inhabited by Maharjan and Bhawo ethnic groups who traditionally are farmers. 

At present though, other ethnic groups than Newar are also found living here especially outside the four ancient gates. In addition to farming, Harisiddhi has been known for various unique handicrafts. While the waves of modernization have gripped the town over the years, you can still see traditional farming and harvesting activities in Harisiddhi. 

As you reach towards the heart of Harisiddhi, you will be able to witness the beautiful Harisiddhi temple, built by King Amar Malla in the 15th Century. Unlike other temples, there is no statute of Gods or Goddesses present here. Instead three auspicious water pots namely ‘kalashes’ are worshipped as the goddesses Harisiddhi, Bhairab, and Kumari.  

Among the most significant things here, one of them is the Harisiddhi dance. In Newari language, the dance is called Khwopa Pyakha, which translates to ‘masked dance’. Masked dances are popular in many parts of the country. However, Harisiddhi dance is believed to be the first masked dance of the country as a whole. Traditionally, the dance was performed for three months from December to February. Currently, it is performed only twice during the full moons in December and February due to practical problems.

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