Kaskikot Kalika Temple

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            Kaskikot Kalika temple is an old temple of the goddess kali that lies on the top of Kaskikot. It is believed that a sage named Kashyap meditated in the area and the gradual progression of the word Kashyap turned into ‘KaskiKot’ or ‘Kaski’. So, the name of the district ‘Kaski’ came from this place itself. During that time, there was a huge settlement of people from the Gurung and Magar caste. After these settlements, Gurung people started to live in those areas. During the second unification campaign of Prithivi Narayan Shah, Kaski was attacked and the Ghale King was overthrown from power.

            Kaskikot Kalika Temple’s worship ceremonies and pujas happen all around the year. In ancient times, the Pujaris were given pieces of land as offerings. They are also called ‘Guthi’. There is some form of truth in this part of the history from the fact that there are still places called ‘Nuhagaun’ and ‘Astam’. When the lands were offered and they took a bath after the offering, it was named ‘Nuhagaun’ and which is named after the act of bathing in the Nepali language. When the lands were offered during the evening when the sun set, it was named ‘Astam’ after the event of setting sun in the Nepali language. These places are still called ‘Nuhagaun’ and ‘Astaram’ after these events that are described in history.

Especially, during the Nawami of Dashain festival (9th Day), there are huge celebrations around the temple and the area. In the Saptami of Dashain (7th day), the pujaris go to the tundikhel to play Saarang. The people of the ‘Kunwar’ surname also join them. In the surrounding area, musicians play ‘Malshree’. It is a type of Newari culture art form in which musicians perform devotional music. On the next day, it is believed that there was an attack on the palace, and the son of Siddhi Narayan Shah was found dead. Due to this reason, there is no puja or celebration on the Saptami(8th day) of Dashain.

On the 9th day, Pujari wears Tika and carries ‘fulpati’ towards the door of the temple and takes it to a place named Baspani to end the celebrations and the festivals. Pujaris from sub-castes like Timsina, Magar, Damai, Dawadi, Sunar, Kami, Subedi, Bhujel, Thakuri, and Gandharva worship the temple. For the temple, Magars are the main pujaris. Barkauli and Phewali are the sub-castes of Magars that participate in the pujas and worshipping ceremonies in the temple. 

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