Thamel Gate

Read the story in:

Thamel has become the designated destination for tourists and the home to the backpackers. It is well-known for the beautiful alleys, souvenir stores, hotels, restaurants and the amazing nightlife. The energy and vibe that Thamel shows cannot be matched with any place of Nepal. This place, today is the hub for party goers but apparently Thamel started off as a medieval site of Buddhist learning. The place has successfully aged with the time, be it the buildings, culture or the streets. 

Apart from clubs and pubs, Thamel is known for its never ending streets and look-alike alleys which makes it difficult for travelers to navigate the place. 

Well, the journey begins from Thamel gate. As you pass the Keshar library in Kanti path and Garden of Dreams, you will find a huge gate of bricks marking your entry to Thamel.

References
https://roadsandkingdoms.com/travel-guide/kathmandu/walking-tour-thamel/

Listen to the story in:

Tridevi

Read the story in:

Namaste!
Welcome to Tridevi Temple,

Tridevi Temple located at the eastern entrance of Thamel, opposite to the Garden of Dreams and near the Tridevi sadak. Inside the Tridevi temple there are three different temples dedicated to goddesses Kamarukamakshya, Dakshinkali and Jawalamai with their own three temples. This temple has got a lot of stories about the mighty warrior Bada Kaji Amar Singh Thapa. His son Randhwaj Thapa constructed this temple during 1865 BS. Legend states that Bada Kaji Amar Singh Thapa established these statues from three different places of the ancient Nepal. Legend has it that Amar Singh Thapa established the Kamarukamaksha idol from Guwahati, Assam, Dakshinkali from the central part of Nepal and Jawalamai Devi from the west. The temple of Kamarukamaksha is only here in Nepal.

The visit to this temple can be quite an experience. Specially, there are also lot of historical statues and art inside the temples along with other small statues of gods and goddess. Along with these main temples, there are statues of other gods and goddess such as Ganesh, Shiva, Bhairav, Hanuman, Kumari and Saraswati. Different like Parva Puja, Bhajan Kirtan, Prawachan, Bada dashain, Chaitra Dashain, New Year worship ceremony. Along with this, it is customary to offer offerings to the devotees during daily worship, Aarti Shivaratri and Tihar. It is often said that if anyone comes to pray here with pure heart for one single thing then their wish is fulfilled within a year.

References:

Tridevi Temple Conservation, Maintenance, and Promotion Committee

नमस्ते!
त्रिदेवी मन्दिरमा स्वागत छ,

त्रिदेवी मन्दिर ठमेलको पूर्वी प्रवेशद्वारमा, गार्डेन अफ ड्रिम्स अगाडि र त्रिदेवी सडकको छेउमा अवस्थित छ। यस मन्दिर र पराक्रमी योद्धा बडाकाजी अमरसिंह थापाको बारेमा धेरै कथाहरू छन्। बडाकाजी अमरसिंह थापाले यी मुर्तिहरू प्राचीन नेपालका विभिन्न ठाउँबाट ल्याएर स्थापना गरेको भन्ने किंवदन्ती छ। यो मन्दिरको निर्माण भने उनका छोरा रणध्वज थापाले विसं १८६५ मा गरेका थिए। त्रिदेवी मन्दिर भित्र कामारुकामाक्ष, दक्षिणकाली र ज्वालामाई देवीहरूलाई समर्पित तीन अलग-अलग मन्दिरहरू छन्। अमरसिंह थापाले कामारुकामाक्ष मुर्ति को स्थापना गुवाहाटी अस्समबाट ल्याएर गर्नुभएको, दक्षिणकाली को स्थापना नेपालको मध्य भागबाट र ज्वालामाई देवीको स्थापना पश्चिमबाट ल्याएर गर्नुभएको भन्ने किम्बदन्ती छ। कामारुकामाक्षको मन्दिर भने नेपाल भरि यहीँ मात्र छ।

विशेष गरी, मन्दिर भित्र देवी-देवताका अन्य साना मूर्तिहरू सहित धेरै ससाना मूर्तिहरू र कलाहरू छन्। यी मुख्य मन्दिरहरूसँगै गणेश, शिव, भैरव, हनुमान, कुमारी र सरस्वती जस्ता अन्य देवी-देवताका मूर्तिहरू छन्। त्रिदेवी मन्दिरमा पर्व पूजा, भजन कीर्तन, प्रवचन, लगायतका कार्य संगसंगै बडादशैं, चैते दशैं र नयाँ वर्षको पूजा समारोह जस्ता विभिन्न पर्वहरुमा भव्यरुपमा पूजा गरिन्छ। यो संग संगै दैनिक पूजा, आरति शिवरात्रि र तिहार को बेला मा पनि भक्तजनहरुलाई प्रसाद ग्रहण गराउने चलन छ । प्रायः भनिन्छ कि यदि कोही यहाँ शुद्ध हृदयले एउटै कुराको लागि प्रार्थना गर्न आए भने एक वर्ष भित्र मनोकामना पूरा हुन्छ।
यो मन्दिर को संरक्षण को लागि त्रिदेवी मन्दिर संरक्षण मर्मत तथा सम्वर्द्धन समिति कार्यरत छ ।

सन्दर्भहरू:
त्रिदेवी मन्दिर संरक्षण मर्मत तथा सम्बर्द्धन समिति

Listen to the story in:

Ashok Chaitya

Read the story in:

Ashok Chaitya, named after the great Emperor Ashoka, is greatly valued by the Buddhist community of the Kathmandu valley. The emperor Ashoka is believed to have propagated Buddhism in many parts of the world including North India and Nepal in the 3rd century BC. Although the stupa, also called chaitya, is named after Ashoka, there is no evidence that proves its relation with Emperor Ashoka.

People also say that the stupa is more than 2000 years old during the golden period for Buddhism in Kathmandu Valley. The origin of the chaitya is unclear and the source is hearsay. But what’s for sure is the importance of the stupa to the community of Thamel.

Thamel gives an image of beauty in chaos. When someone talks about the town, they will mostly tell you about its nightlife, food, and breathtaking antique stores. Yet there lies a peaceful and unique stupa untouched by the energetic and vigorous Thamel. Situated in Ashok Galli, now famous as a shortcut path between two major streets of Thamel- Amrit Marg and Thamel marg.

Well, the interesting feature of the stupa is its architecture. Even from a distance, it is noticeable that Ashok Chaitya doesn’t have the big white dome shape which is present in almost every stupas in the Kathmandu Valley. The upper domed part and rectangular stone base relate the chaitya to the Lichhavi period whereas the Brick portion dates it to the Malla period. During the renovation, people had discovered an inscription of an ancient period that proved its presence in the Lichhavi period.

On the day before Kojagrat Purnima, the Newari Buddhists visit the respective chaityas of their clan. It is believed that when one visits and revolves around the chaitya, it acts as a form of worshipping their ancestry. In every special occasion of Newari tradition such as ‘baaraah’, ehee, bratabandha, the ‘kul chaitya’ needs to be visited and this tradition is still prevalent among the people here. 

 

References

Sanjiv Kumar Shrestha (Executive Ashok Chaitya Conservation)

Rastra Man Tuladhar (Member of Ashok Chaitya Conservation)

Listen to the story in:

Chibahal

Read the story in:

Namaste!
Welcome to Chibaha,

Chibaha refers to a space that may be open or closed that contains a chaitya. There is a chaitya just on the side of huge open area. This Chibaha is special since it contains a pasture land seperated for the animals to graze freely. There are no exact records about the person who set up that area but the common belief is that the Chaitya adds to the protection of the public grazing area.

There is a Basaha made up of stone. The stone statue shows cow like figure feeding milk to its calves. To make a place public for animals to graze, salt was scattered across the area. It is beleived that there were two reasons for using salt. One symbolized the public announcement of free grazing area also known as Gaucharan. Other reason is that, the animals need salt and the scattered salt can be beneficial for them.

In some special occasions such as BuddhaJayanti, there is tradition of lighting oil lamps and aroma sticks for worships.

नमस्ते!
चिबाहामा स्वागत छ,

चिबाहाले चैत्य भएको खुला वा बन्द ठाउँलाई जनाउँछ। यहाको चैत्य, विशाल खुला क्षेत्रको मा फैलेको चौरको छेउमा छ। यो चिबाहा विशेष छ किनकि यसले जनावरहरूलाई स्वतन्त्र रूपमा चराउनको लागि छुट्याइएको चरन भूमि समावेश गर्दछ। उक्त क्षेत्रको स्थापना गर्ने व्यक्तिको बारेमा कुनै ठ्याक्कै अभिलेख छैन तर चैत्यले सार्वजनिक चरन क्षेत्रको संरक्षणमा मद्दत गर्छ भन्ने आम विश्वास छ।

यहाँ ढुङ्गाले बनेको बसाहा छ । ढुङ्गाको मूर्तिले गाई आफ्नो बाछालाई दूध खुवाउदै गरेको जस्तै चित्रण गर्दछ। जनावर चरनका लागि सार्वजनिक ठाउँ बनाउन क्षेत्रभर नुन छरिएको थियो। यो विश्वास गरिन्छ कि नुन प्रयोग गर्नुको दुई कारण थिए। एउटा कारण गौचरन भनेर चिनिने स्वतन्त्र चरन क्षेत्रको सार्वजनिक घोषणा गर्नु थियो भने अर्को कारण जनावरहरूलाई नुनको लाभदायक फाइदा होस् भनेर थियो।

बुद्धजयन्ती जस्ता केही विशेष अवसरहरूमा पूजा गर्नका लागि तेलको दियो र अगरबत्ती बाल्ने चलन छ।

Listen to the story in:

Maitripur Mahabihar

Read the story in:

Namaste!

Welcome to Maitripur Mahabihar,

Maitripur Mahabihar is situated at baha courtyard just at the south of Thamel. It is also known as Kwa Bahal. There is no exact reference about the origin of Kwa Bahal. The earliest dated reference of Maitripur Mahabihar comes from an inscription which dates back to Nepal Sambat 672. Maitripur Mahabihar is still considered as one of the most important historic and archaelogical mahabihars among 18 Mahabihars in Kathmandu.

There is a legend that states Wakvajra, a famous Vajracharya brought Chaitya from Banares and placed it in Shigal and returned to Kwa Bahal. It is believed that he went into the room next to the left side of the shrine to meditate. During the meditation, it is believed that he vanished in that meditative state from the room. This room is sealed off from access but it still exists here.

Before the entry to the main shrine, there is a hanuman statue opposite to the Chaitya. The chaitya is also believed to be placed by Wakvajra Vajracharya himself. Right at the entryway, there is a wooden toran dating back to Nepal Sambat 789. Toran is a sacred or honorific gateway in Buddhist and Hindu architecture. It shows on the main gate, you can see two Singha Stone statues. Further ahead, there are along with Sariputra on the right side and Mouglyana on the left side near the main shrine or Kwa Padya. There are many paintings buddhist gods and goddesses along with different forms of Buddha.
Just outside the main shrine, there is an Ashok Chaitya and a smaller chaitya which dates back to Licchavi period. Inside the main shrine, there is a statue of Buddha made up of stone and another statue made up of wood. On the top of the parva there is wooden carving of Vajrasattva. Many people believe that the wooden various posters and depictions of the wodden statue resemble Dipankar Buddha. He is also known as Adi-buddha. Other buddha statue made up of stone is considered as the ‘Dewavatar’. It is one of the rarest buddha statues of standing position in Nepal’s Bihars.

The annual anniversary of the Mahabihar takes place on the Phalgun Shukla Pakshya Saptami Tithi. According to the buddhist culture, there is a culture of doing Homadi Puja and decoration with religious flags. Maitripur Mahabihar has its own Kumari or living goddess who is chosen from the daughters of the buddhist monks in the bihar. Rather than being worshipped in the form of living goddess Taleju as other Kumari in Newari culture, she is worshipped in the form of Vajradevi. Most of the functions and rituals performed by the Kumari are related to Bhagwan Bahal.

नमस्ते!

मैत्रीपुर महाबिहारमा स्वागत छ,

मैत्रीपुर महाविहार ठमेलको दक्षिणमा बहा आँगनमा अवस्थित छ। यसलाई क्वा बहल पनि भनिन्छ। क्वा बहलको उत्पत्तिको बारेमा कुनै सटीक सन्दर्भ छैन। मैत्रीपुर महाविहारको सबैभन्दा पुरानो मितिको सन्दर्भ नेपाल संवत् ६७२ मा भएको शिलालेखबाट आउँछ। काठमाडौंका १८ महाबिहारहरूमध्ये मैत्रीपुर महाविहारलाई अझै पनि सबैभन्दा महत्त्वपूर्ण ऐतिहासिक र पुरातात्विक महाबिहारहरूमध्ये एक मानिन्छ।

वाकवज्र नामक प्रसिद्ध वज्राचार्यले बनारसबाट चैत्य ल्याएर शिगलमा राखेर बहल फर्के भन्ने किंवदन्ती छ। उनी ध्यान गर्न मन्दिरको देब्रे छेउको कोठामा गएको जनविश्वास छ । ध्यानको क्रममा उनी त्यही ध्यानस्थलमा कोठाबाट गायब भएको मानिन्छ । यो कोठा पहुँचबाट बन्द गरिएको छ तर यो अझै पनि यहाँ अवस्थित छ।

मुख्य मन्दिरमा प्रवेश गर्नु अघि, चैत्यको विपरीत हनुमानको मूर्ति छ। चैत्य भने वाकवज्र वज्राचार्यले राखेको मानिन्छ। प्रवेशद्वारको ठीक छेउमा, नेपाल संवत् ७८९ मा बनाइएको काठको तोरण छ। तोरण भन्नाले बौद्ध र हिन्दू वास्तुकलामा एक पवित्र वा सम्मानजनक प्रवेशद्वार बुझिन्छ। मुख्य गेटमा, सिंह ka दुई वटा मूर्तिहरू देख्न सकिन्छ। यसभन्दा अगाडि मुख्य मन्दिर वा क्वापाड्य नजिकै दायाँपट्टि सारिपुत्र र देब्रेपट्टि मौग्लियाना छन् । बुद्धका विभिन्न रूपका साथkसाथै बौद्ध देवता र देवीहरूको धेरै चित्रहरू yaha dekhna sakinca.

मुख्य मन्दिर बाहिर एक अशोक चैत्य र लिच्छवी कालको सानो चैत्य छ। मुख्य मन्दिर भित्र ढुङ्गाले बनेको बुद्धको मुर्ति र काठले बनेको अर्को मूर्ति छ। पर्वको शीर्षमा वज्रसत्वको काष्ठको नक्काशी गरिएको छ। काठको विभिन्न पोस्टर र काठको मूर्तिको चित्रण दिपङ्कर बुद्धसँग मिल्दोजुल्दो रहेको भन्ने धेरैको विश्वास छ । उहाँलाई आदि-बुद्ध भनेर पनि चिनिन्छ। ढुङ्गाले बनेको अन्य बुद्ध मूर्तिलाई ‘देवावतार’ मानिन्छ। यो नेपालको बिहारमा उभिएको kam बुद्ध मूर्तिहरू मध्ये एक हो।

महाविहारको वार्षिकोत्सव फाल्गुन शुक्ल पक्ष सप्तमी तिथीमा हुन्छ । बौद्ध संस्कृति अनुसार होमादी पूजा गर्ने र पटाकाले सजाउने चलन छ । मैत्रीपुर महाबिहारको आफ्नै कुमारी वा जीवित देवी छ, जसलाई बिहारका बौद्ध भिक्षुहरूका छोरीहरूबाट चुनिएको छ। नेवारी संस्कृतिमा अन्य कुमारीको रूपमा जीवित देवी तलेजुको रूपमा पूजा गर्नुको सट्टा वज्रदेवीको रूपमा पूजा गरिन्छ। कुमारीले गर्ने अधिकांश कार्य र अनुष्ठानहरू भगवान बहलसँग सम्बन्धित छन्।

Listen to the story in:

Dabali Chowk

Read the story in:

Namaste!

Welcome to Dabali Chowk,

The name Dabali translates to ‘Open Stage’. It is also often referred as Open Theatre. Dabali is an elevated stage to a certain height to let the all the people see the act publicly. The main purpose of Dabali was for the people to showcase dramas and acting performances on an open stage. Based on the need to demonstrate cultural shows, acting, and other forms of skills, most of the dabali were constructed.

However, the requirement of the people has changed. The purpose of dabali has also transitioned in its own way. Now, some people mostly use it to dry paddy and wheat. In some special occasions such as Indrajatra, people use it to showcase cinema and performances depicting social themes. These performances may also be based on the themes of satire and comedy. These plays are also known as Dabu Pakhyan. It directly translates to the place showing open cinema. So, the chowk with such a long history of these performances was named Dabali Chowk.

नमस्ते!

दबाली चोकमा स्वागत छ,

दबाली नामको अनुवाद ‘ओपन स्टेज’ हो। यसलाई अक्सर ओपन थिएटर पनि भनिन्छ। दबाली भनेको एक निश्चित देखाउने सिनेमा हो जसलाई सबै जनताले सार्वजनिक रूपमा देख्न सक्छन । दबालीको मुख्य उद्देश्य जनतालाई खुल्ला रंगमञ्चमा नाटक र अभिनय प्रस्तुत गर्ने थियो । साँस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम, अभिनय र अन्य प्रकारका सीपहरु देखाउने आवश्यकताका आधारमा दाबालीको निर्माण गरिएको हो ।

तर, जनताको माग फेरिएको छ । दाबालीको उद्देश्य पनि आफ्नै तरिकाले परिवर्तन भएको छ । अहिले कतिपयले यसलाई धान र गहुँ सुकाउन प्रयोग गर्छन् । इन्द्रजात्रा जस्ता केही विशेष अवसरहरूमा, मानिसहरूले यसलाई सामाजिक विषयवस्तुहरू चित्रण गर्ने सिनेमा र प्रदर्शनहरू प्रदर्शन गर्न प्रयोग गर्छन्। यी प्रदर्शनहरू व्यंग्य र कमेडीको विषयवस्तुमा पनि आधारित हुन सक्छन्। यी नाटकहरूलाई डब्बु पाख्यान पनि भनिन्छ। यस शब्दलाई, खुल्ला सिनेमा देखाउने ठाउँ भनेर अनुवाद गर्न सकिन्छ । त्यसैले यस्ता प्रदर्शनको लामो इतिहास बोकेको चोकको नाम दाबाली चोक राखियो ।

Listen to the story in:

Bhimsen Pati

Read the story in:

Welcome to Bhimsen Pati,

Pati is commonly referred as place where you can sleep. This place was designed as a public spot where people in the neighborhood could come along and talk. The alley from bhimsen pati will take you to the Bhagwati bahal area. If you take a left path from bhagwati bahal, you will reach Narsingh Gate and the right path will take you to Lekhnath Marg.

There is a belief that the awakening of God Bhimsen results in prosperous business. So, God Bhimsen is preferably worshipped by the businessman in the area. There is also a huge jatra done on Patan to celebrate God Bhimsen.

नमस्ते!
भीमसेन पाटीमा स्वागत छ,

पाटीलाई सामान्यतया सुत्ने ठाउँ भनिन्छ। यो ठाउँ सार्वजनिक स्थानको रूपमा डिजाइन गरिएको थियो जहाँ छिमेकका मानिसहरू सँगै आएर कुरा गर्न सक्छन्। भीमसेन पाटीबाट गल्लीले तपाईंलाई भगवती बहल क्षेत्रमा लैजान्छ। भगवती बहलबाट बायाँ बाटो लागेमा नरसिंह गेटमा पुगिन्छ भने दायाँ बाटोले लेखनाथ मार्गमा पुगिन्छ ।

भगवान भीमसेनको जागरणले व्यापारमा समृद्धि हुने जनविश्वास रहेको छ । त्यसैले यस क्षेत्रका व्यापारीहरूले भगवान भीमसेनलाई प्राथमिकतामा राख्छन्। पाटनमा भगवान भीमसेनलाई मनाउन ठूलो जात्रा पनि गरिन्छ ।

Listen to the story in:

Bhagwan Bahal

Read the story in:

Namaste!
Welcome to Bhagwan Bahal,

You are in Bhagwan Bahal. It is also called as Bikramsheel Mahabihar. It is also the eldest bihar in the Kathmandu Valley. This area was known as Thamagram in the Lichhavi period. Thamagram was named as the eldest village. This area was changed from Thamagram to Singhakalpa Nagar. The Bikramsheel Mahabihar area of ​​Singhakalpa Nagar was called Thabahil. Thabahil means the eldest Bihar. After that, the word ‘Thabahil’ was slowly changed into ‘Thamel’ and this area was called Thamel. Now, Bikramsheel Mahabihar is also known as Bhagwan Bahal.

Here you enter the wooden main door, reaching the middle of the open square. Of the many statues here, the Singha Sarthabahu is considered by locals to be important in terms of originality and archeology. The gold statue of Singha Sarthabahu was restored in 1996 and is about 7 feet high. The idol is kept in the sanctum sanctorum inside the closed gold door. But for those who want to worship the idol during Nitya Puja and Aarti, the priest is needed for the worship.

The central pagoda here is dedicated to the legendary merchant Singha Sarthabahu from ‘Dwapar Yug’ who went from Kathmandu to Tibet to trade. The story is famous throughout East Asia. The Pradhans here consider him their ancestor. The Pradhans (one of the Newar clans) worship the main idol as Singha Sarthabahu. Unlike other Bahals in the Kathmandu Valley, this Bahal is taken care of by the Pradhan dynasty. Generally, in Newar tribes, Bihar or temples are run or maintained by Bajracharya, Shakya or Tuladhars.

To the right of the temple, there is a closed section containing various historical objects. One of them is a handwritten manuscript with 2000 pages that is more than 2,000 years old. The book is called Pragyaparmita and contains the Buddha’s Formula. Another interesting fact about the book is that it is written in gold and silver ink. This book is written in Ranjana script. It is believed that this book was brought by Nagarjuna Buddha from Nagalok in the second century.

In history, it is mentioned that the great master of the eleventh century, Atisha, went to Tibet via Nepal. He lived in Bihar and studied philosophy and practiced Buddhism. During his stay, he rebuilt this Bihar. Bihar used to teach the Buddhism and provide shelter for Buddhists going from India to Tibet or from Tibet to India. This folklore indicates that Bihar may be older than expected.

You can also see the mandala right in front of the temple door. This mandala is made of gold. The temple has many other artefacts, sculptures and objects made of precious elements.

To the right of this intersection, you will find another large intersection called Agam Chowk. Spread over 40,000 square feet, this Bihar campus was studied by thousands of Buddhist monks in ancient times. The Nagarjuna Stupa is also located at this place.

Here are some of the artifacts and statues inside and outside of Bhagwan Bahal:

Mahakal

After passing two doors in the eastern part, one reaches the ‘Dalan’ with a 24-inch statue of Mahakal on the right. He is known as the ‘protector’ in Buddhist religion. Hindus worship the idol as Bhairav ​​(form of Shiva, protector and destroyer). The structure of the statue dates back to the 17th century.

Mahamanjushri Bodhisattva and Saraswati

On the right side of the ladder descending to Mulchowk are the idols of Mahamanjushree and on the left side are the idols of Saraswati. It is believed that Mahamanjushri had supreme knowledge and manifested in 1000 forms.

Aryatara

There is a statue of Aryatara near the statue of Manjushri. Aryatara is an important figure in Buddhism and is known as the mother of salvation. It represents the virtue of success in work and achievements. This statue was carved in 1746 BS.

Halahal Lokeshwar

This male figured statue has 3 heads and 6 arms.

Kwapa: Dyo


Kwapa: Dyo’s statue was restored in 955 Nepali Sambat. It is mentioned as ‘Kvachpar Devata’ on the stone inscription of the statue in Nepali Bhasa. Going inside Bihar, you can see the statue of Kwapa: Dyo on the left side. Kwapa: Dyo idol is made of very fine and shiny black stone that is depicted in a meditation posture. Kwapa: Dyo’s idol is called ‘Bhagwat Akal’ in Sanskrit language and it is worshiped as ‘Medicine Buddha’.

Chaitya idol

To the south of the chowk, in “Tun: Chok”, you will find the Chaityamurti from Lichhavi period. This idol is made of the same stone. The lower part of the statue resembles the statue of Bikramsheel Mahabihar. However, the elements used to make the statues are very different. The material used to make the sculpture is composed of materials from the Licchavi period.

Kuber

Crossing the street in the south, one finds the idols of Kubera, the god of wealth and treasurer of wealth. Kubera is worshiped in both Hindu and Buddhist religions. He is worshiped for good luck and prosperity.

References

Rukmini Vanta Pradhan (2016): Bikramsheel Mahabihar
Bikramsheel Mahabihar, Working Committee

नमस्ते !
भगवान बहालमा हजुरलाई स्वागत छ,

तपाईं भगवान बहालमा हुनुहुन्छ जसलाई विक्रमशिल महाविहार पनि भनिन्छ। यो काठमाडौं उपत्यकाको सबैभन्दा जेठो विहार पनि हो। यो क्षेत्र लिच्छवी कालमा भने थमग्राम भनेर चिनिन्थ्यो। थमग्राम भन्नाले जेठो गाउँ हो। यो क्षेत्रलाई थमग्रामबाट परिवर्तन भई सिंहकल्प नगर भनेर चिनिन थालियो। सिंहकल्प नगर विक्रमशील महाविहार क्षेत्रलाई थबहिल भनिन्थ्यो । थबहिलको अर्थ चाहिँ सबैभन्दा जेठो बिहार हो । त्यसपछि थबहिलको अपभ्रम्श भइ यो क्षेत्रलाई ठमेल भन्न थालिएको हो। विक्रमशील महाविहारलाई भने अहिले भगवान बहाल भनेर पनि चिनिन्छ।

यहाँ तपाईं काठको मुलढोका प्रवेश गर्दा, खुला चोकको बीचमा पुग्नुहुन्छ। यहाँ भएका धेरै मुर्तिहरू मध्ये सिँह सार्थबाहुको मुर्ति मौलिक र पुरातात्विक हिसाबले अत्यन्त महत्वपुर्ण छ। सिँह सार्थबाहुको सुनको मुर्ति सन् १९९६ मा जीर्णोद्धार गरिएको थियो जुन करिब ७ फिट अग्लो छ। मुर्तिलाई बन्द सुनको ढोकाभित्रको गर्भगृहमा राखिएको छ। तर नित्यपूजा र आरतीको समयमा पूजा गर्नेहरूका लागि पुजारी मार्फत पूजा गर्न सकिन्छ ।

यहाँको केन्द्रीय प्यागोडा द्वापरयुगका पौराणिक व्यापारी सिँह सार्थबाहुलाई समर्पित गरिएको छ जो काठमाडौंबाट तिब्बतमा व्यापार गर्न गएका थिए भन्ने कथा पूर्वी एशिया भरि नै प्रचलित छ। यहाँका प्रधानहरूले उहाँलाई आफ्नो पुर्खा मान्छन्। यहाँका प्रधानहरू (नेवार कुलमध्येका एक) मुख्य मूर्तिलाई सिँह सार्थबाहुको मूर्तिको रूपमा पूजा गर्छन्। काठमाडौं उपत्यकाका अन्य बहालहरू भन्दा फरक, यो बहाललाई प्रधान वंशले हेरचाह गर्छ। सामान्यत नेवार जनजातिमा, बिहार वा मन्दिरहरू बज्राचार्य, शाक्य वा तुलाधरहरूले चलाउँछन् वा हेरचाह गर्छन्।

मन्दिरको दायाँपट्टि विभिन्न ऐतिहासिक वस्तुहरू समावेश गरिएको बन्द खण्ड छ। ती मध्ये एउटा, 2000 वर्षभन्दा पुरानो, 2000 पृष्ठको हस्तलिखित पाण्डुलिपि हो। पुस्तकलाई प्रज्ञापारमिता भनिन्छ र यसमा बुद्धका सुत्रहरू समावेश छन्। पुस्तकको बारेमा अर्को रोचक तथ्य यो छ कि यो सुन र चाँदीको मसीले लेखिएको छ। यो पुस्तक रञ्जना लिपिमा लेखिएको छ। यो पुस्तक नागार्जुन बुद्धले दोस्रो शताब्दीमा नागलोकबाट ल्याएर राख्नु भएको मान्यता छ।

इतिहासमा एघारौँ शताब्दीका महान् गुरु अतिशा, नेपाल हुँदै तिब्बत गएको उल्लेख छ । उनले यस बिहारमा बसेर दर्शनको अध्ययन गरे र बुद्ध धर्मको अभ्यास गरे। बसाइका क्रममा उनले यो बिहारको पुनः निर्माण गरे। बिहारले बुद्धको पाठ दिने र भारतबाट तिब्बत जाने वा तिब्बतबाट भारत जाने बौद्धहरूको लागि आश्रय दिन्थ्यो। यो लोककथाले बिहार अझै पुरानो हुनसक्ने संकेत गर्छ।

तपाईंले मन्दिरको ढोकाको ठीक अगाडि मण्डला पनि देख्न सक्नुहुन्छ। यो मण्डला सुनले बनेको छ। यस मन्दिरमा अन्य धेरै कलाकृतिहरू, मूर्तिहरू र वस्तुहरू छन् जुन बहुमूल्य तत्वहरूबाट बनेका छन्।

यस चोकको दायाँपट्टि, तपाईंले अर्को ठूलो चोक भेट्टाउनुहुनेछ जसलाई आगम चोक भनिन्छ। ४०,००० वर्ग फुटमा फैलिएको यस बिहार परिसरमा प्राचीन कालमा हजारौं बौद्ध भिक्षुहरूले अध्ययन गर्थे। यसै स्थानमा नागार्जुन स्तुपा पनि रहेको छ।

भगवान बहाल भित्र र बाहिर रहेका केही कलाकृतिहरू र मूर्तिहरू यहाँ छन्:

महाकाल

पूर्वी भागमा दुईवटा ढोका अघि बढेपछि दायाँपट्टि महाकालको २४ इन्चको मुर्ति रहेको ‘दलान’ मा पुगिन्छ। उनलाई बुद्ध धर्ममा संरक्षक भनेर चिनिन्छ। हिन्दूहरूले भैरव (शिवको रूप, रक्षक र संहारक) को रूपमा मूर्तिको पूजा गर्छन्। मूर्तिको निर्माण संरचना १७ औं शताब्दीको हो।

महामञ्जुश्री बोधिसत्व र सरस्वति

मुलचोकमा ओर्लिने भर्याङ्गको दायाँ पट्टी महामञ्जुश्री र बायाँ पट्टी सरस्वतीको मुर्ति छन्, उक्त मुर्तिहरू महापात्र हरिसिँह भारोले स्थापना गरेका हुन् । महामञ्जुश्रीलाई परमज्ञान छ र १००० रुपमा प्रकट भएको मानिन्छ।

आर्यतारा

मञ्जुश्रीको मूर्ति नजिकै आर्यताराको मूर्ति छ। आर्यतारा बौद्ध धर्मको एक महत्वपूर्ण व्यक्तित्व हुनुहुन्छ र उहाँलाई मुक्तिको आमा भनेर चिनिन्छ। उहाँले काम र उपलब्धिहरूमा सफलताको पुण्य प्रतिनिधित्व गर्नुहुन्छ। यो मूर्ति विसं १७४६ मा कोरिएको हो ।

हलाहल लोकेश्वोर

पुरुषको आकृतिमा बनाइएको यो मुर्तिमा ३ टाउको र ६ हातहरु छन् ।

क्वापा: द्यो


क्वापा: द्योको मुर्तिलाई ने.सं. ९५५ मा जिर्णोद्वार गरि राखिएको शिलापत्रमा लेखिएको नेपाल भाषामा ‘क्वाचपार देवता’ भनेर उल्लेख गरेको पाइन्छ। बिहारमा भित्र गएर बायाँपट्टिको स्थानतिर क्वापा: द्योको मुर्तिलाई देख्न सकिन्छ। क्वापा: द्यो मुर्ति भने असाध्यै राम्रो र चहकिलो कालो ढुंगाले निर्मित गरिएको छ भने यो मुर्तिलाई ध्यान मुद्रामा चित्रण गरिएको छ।क्वापा: द्योको मुर्तिलाई संस्कृत भाषामा ‘भगवत अकाल’ भनिएको छ र येसलाई ‘Medicine Buddha’ को रुप मानी पूजा गरिन्छ।

चैत्य मूर्ति

चोकको दक्षिणतर्फ, “टुंः चोक” मा, तपाईंले लीच्छबीकालिन चैत्यमूर्ति पाउनुहुनेछ। यो मूर्ति एउटै ढुङ्गाबाट बनेको हो । मूर्तिको तल्लो भाग विक्रमशिल महाविहारको मूर्तिसँग मिल्दोजुल्दो छ। यद्यपि, मूर्तिहरू निर्माण गर्न प्रयोग गरिएका तत्वहरू धेरै फरक छन्। मूर्ति बनाउन प्रयोग गरिने सामग्री लिच्छविकालमा बनेको हो ।

कुबेर

दक्षिणमा गल्ली पार गर्दा धनको देवता र धनको कोषाध्यक्ष कुबेरको मूर्ति भेटिन्छ। कुबेर हिन्दू र बौद्ध दुवै धर्ममा पूजा गरिन्छ। उहाँलाई सौभाग्य र समृद्धिको लागि पूजा गरिन्छ।

सन्दर्भहरू

रुक्मणी वन्त प्रधान (2016): विक्रमशिल महाविहार
विक्रमशिल महाविहार, कार्य समिति

Listen to the story in:

Bhagwati Temple

Read the story in:

Namaste!
Welcome to Bhagwati Temple,

Bhagwati Temple is also referred to as Sankateshwor Bhagawati. It is located in the mulbazar of Thamel. The surrounding area near the temple is also referred to as Bhagwati Bahal. It lies in the middle region of the Thamel on the Thamel Marga. There is also a small stupa or Chi Baadya near the temple. Also, you can find different small statues of Bhimsen, Ganesh and Narayan in the temple.

There is no exact recorded story for the origin of this temple. But the goddess Bhagwati is worshipped in the form of goddess Durga. During the Dashain festival there is a tradition of offering sacrifice to goddess Bhagwati. There is also tradition of doing puja during the Kayo Ashtami. Kayo Ashtami falls on Ashtami of Shukla Pakshya during the Phalgun month.

नमस्ते!
भगवती मन्दिरमा स्वागत छ,

भगवती मन्दिरलाई सङ्कटेश्वर भगवती पनि भनिन्छ। यो ठमेलको मुलबजारमा अवस्थित छ। मन्दिर नजिकैको क्षेत्रलाई भगवती बहल पनि भनिन्छ। यो ठमेल मार्गमा पर्छ अनि ठमेलको मध्य क्षेत्रमा अवस्थित छ। मन्दिर नजिकै एउटा सानो स्तुपा वा चि वाद्य पनि छ। साथै मन्दिरमा भिमसेन, गणेश र नारायणका विभिन्न साना साना मूर्तिहरू पनि पाउन सकिन्छ।

यस मन्दिरको उत्पत्तिको लागि कुनै सटीक रेकर्ड गरिएको कथा छैन। तर देवी भगवतीलाई देवी दुर्गाको रूपमा पूजा गरिन्छ। दशैंमा भगवतीको पूजा आराधना गर्ने चलन छ । कायो अष्टमीमा पनि पूजा गर्ने चलन छ । कायो अष्टमी फाल्गुन शुक्ल पक्षको अष्टमीमा पर्छ ।

Listen to the story in:

Gaa:hiti

Read the story in:

Namaste!

You have arrived at Gaa: hiti located in the Gaahiti tole of Thamel. This is one of the 573 dhunge dhara (stoned spouts) in the Kathmandu valley. Gaa: hiti is found on the eastern side of Bhagwan bahal. It is believed to be made by the sisters of Sarthavaha, the legendary trader who went to trade in Tibet in the 7th Century. Thus, Gaa: hiti is considered as a part of bhagwan bahal.

Ga hiti, is a lot more than a water source and unlike other Dhundedharas. This structure underneath the ground level consists of several sculptures of deities famous in Hindu mythology. The sprouts have the structure of Makara, the carrier of Ganga, the Hindu goddess of water. It was Bhagirath who brought Ganga from heaven to Earth. Therefore, there is the presence of Bhagirath underneath the sprout. Other structures that are usually featured in the sprout are cow, goat, elephant, cock, and tiger. 

Before the dhungedhara (stoned spout) was discovered, this open space used to be a marshy pond. People didn’t know that this beautiful blend of art and technology existed within the marshy pond. While renovating the dhungedhara, locals also discovered an old manuscript (shilapatra) which dated this dhungedhara to 738 AD. 

As you can see there are a total of 4 water taps in Gaa: hiti. The main water spout faces west while the other three face south. Several idols of deities from Hindu mythology such as Chepu and Makara are found on the water spout which, as you see, adds beauty to the stone structure while giving it a cultural and religious significance. Likewise, on the top of the spout, there is an idol of Lord Vishnu. On its left lies the idol of Uma maheshwor whereas the idol of Lokeshwor lies on the right. 

Dhunge Dhara is regarded as a traditional waterway in the Newari tribe of Kathmandu valley. They are used for drinking water, bathing as well as washing laundry. The way Dhunge Dhara work is pretty interesting too 

Dhungedhara absorbs the rainwater to form its natural water source. Not to entirely depend on rainwater, several ponds and channels to nearby rivers can also be found in dhungedharas. The working mechanism of dhunge dhara is very interesting. Despite being so old, the technologies used are very advanced. They use gravity to channel the water, have a systematic flow that regulates the water, water purification system, and advanced drainage system to avoid blockage. It is said that the flowing water is cold in the summer and hot in the winters.

References
Rukmani Wanta Pradhan (2016): Bikramshila Mahavihar

नमस्ते!

ठमेलको गाहिटी टोलमा अवस्थित गाः हिटीमा तपाईलाई स्वागत छ। यो काठमाडौं उपत्यकामा रहेका ५७३ ढुङ्गेधारा (ढुङ्गेधारा) मध्ये एक हो। गा: हिटी भगवान बहलको पूर्वी दिशा मा रहेको छ। यो सिंहसार्थ बाहुका दिदीबहिनी “निनि घ” ले बनाएको भन्ने जनविश्वास रहेको भएपनि प्रमाणको अभावमा यो कुरालाई यथार्थ हो भनेर किटान गर्न सकिदैन।

ढुङ्गेधारा (ढुङ्गेधारा) पत्ता लाग्नु अघि यो खुला ठाउँ दलदली पोखरी थियो। मानिसहरूलाई थाहा थिएन कि कला र प्रविधिको यो सुन्दर मिश्रण दलदली पोखरी भित्र अवस्थित थियो। ढुङ्गेधाराको जीर्णोद्धार गर्दा स्थानीयवासीले ७३८ सालको ढुंगेधाराको पुरानो पाण्डुलिपि (शिलापत्र) पनि फेला पारे।

गा: हिटिमा जम्मा ४ वटा पानीका धारा छन्। मुख्य हिटि पश्चिमतर्फ र अन्य तीन दक्षिणतर्फ फर्केको छ । हिन्दू पौराणिक कथाहरू संग सम्बन्धित, चेपु र मकरा जस्तै धेरै देवताहरूको मूर्तिहरू पानीको मुहान छेउछाउमा पाइन्छ जसले ढुङ्गाको संरचनालाई सांस्कृतिक र धार्मिक महत्त्व दिँदै सुन्दरता थप्छ। त्यसैगरी टुप्पोको माथिल्लो भागमा भगवान विष्णुको मुर्ति छ । यसको देब्रेपट्टि उमा महेश्वरको मूर्ति छ भने दाहिनेपट्टि लोकेश्वरको मूर्ति छ।

ढुंगेधारालाई काठमाडौं उपत्यकाको नेवारी जनजातिको परम्परागत जलमार्ग मानिन्छ। तिनीहरू पिउने पानी, नुहाउन र लुगा धुनका लागि प्रयोग गरिन्छ। ढुंगेधाराको काम गर्ने तरिका पनि निकै रोचक छ।

ढुंगेधाराले वर्षाको पानी सोसेर प्राकृतिक पानीको स्रोत बनाउँछ।

गैह्रीधाराको चोकमा अशोक चैत्यसँगै अरु दुइटा सादा चैत्यहरू छन् । यिनीहरू लिच्छविकालीन चैत्य हुन् । हेर्दा यो चैत्य बहालको मुख्य ढोका बाहिरका चैत्यको भाग हुनुपर्दछ भन्ने देखिन्छ । भुइँमा नवग्रह भनिने ढुङ्गाका नौवटा चक्काको दुई पत्र छन् । यो लुम्बिनीस्थित मायादेवी मन्दिरनजिकै रहेको भोटिभ चैत्य रुप को छ । तर यहाँ यसलाई स्तूप वा चैत्य नभनी नवग्रह भनिएको छ । ग्रहशान्ति गर्नुपर्दा यहाँ पूजा गरिने गरिन्थ्यो तर आजभोलि यो त्यसै रहेको छ । यस्तै प्रकारको नवग्रहको नौ चक्का पशुपतिमन्दिर क्षेत्रको चोकमा पनि अवस्थित छ .

सन्दर्भहरू
रुक्मणी वन्ता प्रधान (2016): विक्रमशिला महाविहार

 

Listen to the story in:

Saat Ghumti Chowk

Read the story in:

Namaste!

Welcome to Saat Ghumti Chowk,

Saat Ghumti means the way with seven corners. Chowk directly refers to the main street in any market place or area. So, Saat ghumti Chowk is the main street that leads the way to the seven corners. The end of this road of seven corners ends in three different locations. If you take right from Narsingh Chowk, you will reach “sath ghumti chowk”. From here, you can take a right path to reach sorahkhutte and a left path to reach Paknajol.

You can find different Hotels, Gardens and Guest House along the way to the seventh turn. The seventh turn will lead you to three different destinations. One turn towards left will lead you the way to the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Another straight path will lead you to the way to Syambhunath. Finally, the right turn will lead to the Hotel area like Hotel Moonlight and International Guest House. If you are looking for place to stay along this way, the left and the right turns also feature different guest houses and hotels.

नमस्ते!

सात घुम्ती चोकमा स्वागत छ,

सात घुम्ती भनेको सात कुना भएको बाटो हो। चोकले कुनै पनि बजार वा क्षेत्रको मुख्य सडकलाई सीधै बुझाउँछ। त्यसैले सात कुनासम्म पुग्ने मुख्य सडक सात घुम्ती चोक हो। सात कुनाको यो सडकको अन्त्य तीन फरक ठाउँमा हुन्छ। नरसिंह चोकबाट दायाँ हिँड्दा ‘सात घुम्ती चोक’ पुग्छ । यहाँबाट, तपाईं सोराखुट्टे पुग्न दायाँ बाटो र पाकनाजोल पुग्न बायाँ बाटो लिन सक्नुहुन्छ।

सातौं मोडमा जाने बाटोमा तपाईले विभिन्न होटल, बगैंचा र गेस्ट हाउस पाउन सक्नुहुन्छ। सातौं पालोले तपाईंलाई तीन फरक गन्तव्यहरूमा लैजान्छ। बायाँतर्फको एउटा मोडले तपाईंलाई काठमाडौं दरबार स्क्वायरमा लैजान्छ। अर्को सीधा बाटोले तपाईलाई शम्भुनाथको बाटोमा लैजान्छ। अन्तमा, दायाँ मोडले होटल क्षेत्र जस्तै होटेल मुनलाइट र अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय गेस्ट हाउसमा लैजान्छ। यदि तपाईं यस बाटोमा बस्नको लागि ठाउँ खोज्दै हुनुहुन्छ भने, बायाँ र दायाँ मोडमा विभिन्न अतिथि घरहरू र होटलहरू पनि छन्।

Listen to the story in:

Museum Of Nepali Art (MoNA)

Read the story in:

MoNA

Museum of Nepali Art

MONA occupies a unique position in the world of Nepali art showcasing traditional and contemporary works, mainly produced after the mid-19th century.

These art forms are a reflection of the country’s culture and its soul. Yet they are in danger of fading out in a fast-changing world.

Mona is situated in the Karna Annex and showcases the masterpieces of Nepalese art both traditional and contemporary to a wider audience. With the aim to expand knowledge, interest, and awareness around these artistic disciplines.

MONA presents the vibrant continuity in the production of art by exhibiting the work of newer generations, whose manifestations differ in form and content. Delving deeper into the artworks, we see a rich interplay of global styles binding seamlessly with local cultural contexts. This gives the art a character that is ‘Nepali’ -yet places Nepal art on a global platform.

The Kathmandu Valley has been a center of cultural heritage for thousands of years, spanning many dynasties and ‘schools of thought’, to receive its World Heritage Inscription in 1979. To date, most great works of Nepali art have been housed in private collections or a part of limited exhibitions. MONA seeks to break these barriers, by presenting masterpieces of art to a wider and all inclusive public.

The museum documents, researches, conserves and preserves the artistic heritage of the country with the aim to maintain and expand this identity. Thematic presentations of Nepalese art, both traditional and contemporary and sometimes both, will run as temporary exhibitions throughout the year to provide a vibrant Museum.

FOUNDER’S VISION

“ART, in its many forms; symbolizes our past; reflects our present, and inspires our future.”

Traditional and contemporary art balance each other. The first, mirroring faiths and traditions, where the foundations of our culture and way of life were embedded. The second, representing today’s philosophies, anxieties and dogmas.

Art is in a rapid whirlpool of evolution, revolution and experimentation. The modern era of digital influences and mass accessibility endangers individual expression, reduces artistic variances and thus makes our society somewhat monotonic.

MONA was envisioned to give a prominent stage to Nepali artists, to showcase their expressions and geniuses. This platform intends to strengthen traditions, better understand our history, and pass this knowledge on to future generations, while introducing our non-comparative artistic forte to the world. Additionally, and more importantly, to exhibit these artistic marvels to the general public, so that such knowledge and skill would not be diminished in this world of chaos and singularity.

References
KGH Group brochure

 

Listen to the story in:

Kathmandu Guest House (KGH)

Read the story in:

This Mahadev Temple is one of the oldest Shiva temple in Mithila. The antiquity of this place is connected with the establishment of the Kingdom of Mithila. Built in the year 1996 after the ancient temple was damaged in the 1990 earthquake, this temple is a unique example of a Tirhut style. The temple has an ancient Shiva linga built of black stone. Shiva Ratri and Shrawan month bring a huge crowd all month long.

Mahant Sheetal Giri was given the Kuwa Mauja Birta by the Makwanpur Naresh

Jagat Sen in BS. 1995, but the propagation of this temple is needed for the development of tourism. This temple is located in Janakpurdham sub-metropolitan ward no. 12.

Listen to the story in:

Supported By: