• Harisiddhi : A living museum of cultural values

    Ramesh Tiwari
    June 13, 2014
    Harisiddhi : A living museum of cultural values

    Bhesh Jung Lamichhane  ————————–

    Lalitpur , an ancient locality of historic and cultural importance , is one of the major city in Kathmandu valley.Patan Durbar Square is listed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the courtyards of Patan Durbar Square, Krishna Mandir, Taleju and Golden Temple, many Bihars, sculptures and shrines attract thousands of domestic and international tourists round the year . Harisiddhi is one of the most visited tourist site in Patan due to its sacredness associated with the Harisiddhi temple. Harisiddhi jatra is observed there during the festival of Holy Purnima every year.

    Harisiddhi village , about eight km south of Kathmandu on the way to Godavari, is a popular religious site because of a temple dedicated to the goddess Harisiddhi trishakti bhavani. Hari or Lord Vishnu is supposed to be the preserver among the Trinity of the Hindus. The tantric priests wear the traditional long white skirts there. According to the researchers, Indian emperor Bikramaditya,the founder of Bikram Sambat , came to Nepal and set up Harisiddhi temple somewhere in Kantipur. Later, Goddess Harisiddhi was transferred to Harisiddhi village during Licchavi period and the present temple was built during the rule of Malla kings.

    The goddess Harsiddhi is regarded as the creator of the world and also known as Tri-Shakti (three powered) goddess. It is said that the goddess has miracle power there. Five animals He-buffalo, goat, sheep, duck and a pair of fish are sacrificed to start the traditional dance in the temple complex and hot blood is offered to the goddesses. Animals are sacrificed only in dance day in the temple area. The ancient temple at Harisiddhi is popular for its traditional rituals .

    The priests there use special attire, white loose fitting gowns, white jacket, tight fitting underwear and uncombed hair. The eldest son of the priestly class is entitled to succeed to the office and this tradition goes back to the medieval period of Malla rule. According to the national population and housing census 2011 , the total population of Harisiddhi village development committee is around 10,736 with 2737 households .The village is inhabited by farmers specially belonging to the Maharjan communities .The majority of the people despite its proximity to the capital and modern facilities are behind in education. Agriculture is the main occupation of the village. The traveler, who has heard the tale of human sacrifice, is even horrified to visit the temple area these days according to the researchers.

    The goddess at Harisiddhi temple is said to have three mysterious powers. Four earthen pitchers are set up to symbolize the animation of the goddess when invoked. Every 12 year these vessels are replaced in the manner prescribed in the holy book. It is similar to the ritual of changing every 12 years the wooden image of Sri Jagannath Puri in India. The goddess is invoked at the top most floor of the temple. The public are not permitted to have the glimpse of the goddess except on specified days.

    The rituals of the goddess are conducted both in Vedic and esoteric manner under guidance of the priest belonging to the Rajopadhya Brahmin involved in one or the other ritual there. Some of the rituals in other communities are done in the manner prescribed in the Tantras. The implication of the ritual is gradually losing ground as there are very people having depth knowledge of Tantric formula and the present generation is not interested to follow their predecessors. Harisiddhi village in Lalitpur district is one of the popular religious sites of Nepal heading towards modernization maintaining traditional values of the society.

    (Journalist Bhesh Jung Badal writes on different issues including travel and tourism regularly.)

    June 12, 2014

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
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      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
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      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
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      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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