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Monday, August 31, 2009

Salkha Mahadyo Ganesh

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dhunlla Mahadyo Ganesh - Sankhu


Chalakhu Ganesh - Sankhu


Dugahiti Ganesh- Sankhu


Dhunlla Ganesh - Sankhu


Inlla Ganesh -Sankhu


Friday, August 28, 2009

Devi Pyakhan Pictures- Sankhu

Friday, August 28, 2009
Devi Naach ( Dance)

Devi Pyakhan Videos

Devi Naach ( Dance)
Devi Pyakhan ( Dance) is an ancient dance of Hindu Goddess. It is an ancient dance celebrated in different part of old Newar towns of Nepal. This dance give entertaintment as well but it has more ritual values and religious aspect than anything else.
Every year this festival is celebrated on the Kage- Asthami. Tha Kage-Asthami is the Asthami before Yanya Punhi (Bhadra Sukla Purnima) Indra Jatra. The festival of Devi Pyakhan Starts at 10 pm of night and last whole night. The dance shows every tole (main place) of Sankhu. This dance is a traditional religious dance.
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History of Dance
Once upon a time Goddess Bajrayogini came to sankhu by disguished 3 little babies. They came to Sindhu Chowk near the Chalakhu tole. When they were dancing a very powerful Tantric of Sankhu knew about this and he catched babies by the Tantrik power. The Tantrik got promise from Goddess Bajrayogini that every year she will come to sankhu and show dance in Sankhu. From that time the dance is continusely running once every year in Sankhu.

Devi Pyakhan ( Khya Pyakhan)

video

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bajrayogini jatra( Vajrayogini festival) of Sankhu

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Every year the Bajrayogini’s jatra at sankhu, Kathmandu celebrated for 8 days. This is one of the major Jatra that we can see inside Kathmandu valley. During these 8days we can see differen kind of possessin of festival and the crowd as we see in jatra of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur or Lalitpur. May be since Sanku is a small village/city east north of Kathamndu and the population is very less in comparision to big citites like Kathmandu. Many people came to visit from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan and near newar towns to observe this jatra.


You will get different type of excitement while watching this jatra. Since the Bajrayogini temple is at the top of the hill, brining the god’s statue down the steep hill on the heavy chariot is really exciting. I think locale from Shanku should invite people, friends, and relatives from different places to see this jatra so that people will know about it, see the excitement of this jatra and know more about this ancient city Shanku.
When you did a hiking from shanku to Nagarkot, This place is also popular for Sali Nadi (holy river which is mention in one of the holy book of hindu, Swasthani )

This place has many thing to offer for internal, Indian (for holy reason) and external tourism). I read somewhere about this place that around 15th or 16th century some Italian priest visited this place and compare it with their Italian city saying it’s beautiful .
Government will take some steps to make such jatra, Fairs to make the place popular and attract tourist so that the economy of the locale people will increase।
video

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Visit the stunning Newari town of Sankhu

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Visit the stunning Newari town of Sankhu
The small town of Sankhu lies hidden in the Kathmandu Valley and once was a significant town located on the Tibetan trade route. Today, Sankhu, or Sankharapur, does not have a thriving economy and most inhabitants work on farms or in the trading industry. Even though it does not have the hustle and bright lights of the cities, Sankhu is a favourite tourist destination in Nepal, due to its history and many spectacular sights and attractions.

It is believed that Shankharapur was established in 1801, although many have argued that its founding date was in 1299. But no matter which date is completely accurate, it still remains the oldest and most historic location in the Kathmandu Valley. The legend related to the history of the town tells of a kingdom that was created and how the Tantric goddess Bajrajogini was significant in the establishment of Sankhu. Her shrine is hidden in the dense forests surrounding the town and it is a place of pilgrimage for many Hindus and Buddhists.

The annual Sankhu festival is also held in her honor. Her shrine consists of beautiful statues, stupas and a few other shrines. The main structure at the shrine was constructed in the year 1655 by the then King, Prakas Malla. It is the most historic and oldest shrine that is located in this area. The goddess of wisdom is honored at the Sankhu Bajra Jogini and Hindus make their way to this shrine to offer blood sacrifices to the goddess. Buddhists have their own tantras here to make their own offerings. The caves that are located near the temple of Bajrajogini should also be explored, as it is said that in the cave that has two rooms the priest pays penance here for his love for her.

The Changunarayan Temple and the Salinadi River (a holy river in the Hindu religion) are two other very important and breathtaking sights. The lush green forests that surround Sankhu are worth looking into, as they are peaceful and magical, with many creatures and birds that make the forest their home. This charming destination in Nepal has a wonderful mixture of culture, tradition, history and spectacular beauty to share with visitors. It is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience and is a recommended town to visit when in Nepal.

Shaligram found in Sankhu

Shaligram found in Sankhu ( Shankharapur)


A 100-kg shaligram has been found on the Sankhu side of Narayan Gadgade Khola in Kathmandu. The location is in kathmandu and near the border of Bhaktapur district. The place is locally known as Ita khel chaur ( big ground).
The 18 inch wide and 24 inch long shali-gram was found on the foundation of Muktinath temple laid by Muktinath Pithadhiswor Swami Kamal Nayanacharya in 2004, said Madhusudan Dangal, a local.
The Akhanda Jyoti Baba Swami Shri Shri Charitable Trust established for the construction of Muktinath temple has kept the shaligram in the Ashram, said Trust heir Swami Jagadish Prapannacharya.
If you go and ask about the found of Saligram there are different stories you can hear from different people. Although there are lots of peopl who are continusely worship the found saligram. If you want to see the saligram you can go by motor bike from sankhu. It is 25 min walk from sankhu and easy to find the way.
The shaligram was dropped from a truck loaded by a dozer on the foundation site on the river bank while levelling the ground for Muktinath Temple and a school on Tuesday.

Pictures from festivals


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sankhu Newar Rites

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Different rites and rituals of Newars are observed in Sankhu including related to birth, Bell Bibah "Ehi" ( Marriage with Bell fruit), Barha Tayagu ( Marriage with Sun) and others.
In additions of Newars others communties like Tamangs, Brahmans, Chhetris etc. follo unique rites and riuals in Sankhu.


Newar Rituals in Life
Newar Rituals in Life
Pre Natal
There are many pre natal rituals, however majority of those : pusawan kriya, simatopanayan, for example are no longer in existence. Nevertheless, Dhau baji nakegu (offering yogurt and flattened rice along with yomari, sweets etc) during pregnancy is still practiced by many castes.
Birth
After child birth, it is informed to maternal home of the mother. It is done by sending sugar candy, nutmeg, ginger etc. After the birth, concerned family becomes ritually impure. They become pure after 'Machaboo byanke' tradition which is done on forth, sixth or tenth day after the child birth.
There is also a tradition of offering different kinds of foods from maternal home of the mother within a month of delivery, which is known as 'Baji nakah wonegu' or ' Machaboo swahwanegu'.
Macha Janko (the rice feeding)
The rice feeding is done in 6th or 8th month (in case of a boy) and in 5th or 7th month (in case of a girl). After worshipping Ganesh, the child is offered rice pudding with verities of food. It is believed that the child gets similar food throughout his life as the food offered on that day.
Busankha (Boys)
Busankha means shaving of hair. it is done at the age of 6 or 7. Shaving of hair is done by the maternal uncle of the boy, sister of the boy's father holds the shaved hair. These days, busankha is done at the time of 'kayatapuja'.
Kayatapuja (Boys)
Kayatapuja or fixing of loin cloth is done to mark the attainment of puberty. Bajracharya and Shakyas perform the tonsure ceremony, Chudakarma. During this, one has to visit shrines and pay homage to Kwahpahdyoh and make offerings. After kayatapuja, Jyapus and Sayamis undergo Ohla (which is less practiced these days.)
Ihi (Girls)
This is a ritual symbolic marriage with a bel (byah) fruit, the symbol of lord Vishnu. This ceremony, celebrated at the age of 5-11 , is done to prevent widowhood. As they are married to immortal lord, the Newar girls never become widow.
The girls are also taught household works in Ihi.
Bahra (Girls)
After Ihi, a Newar girl undergo bahra, ritual confinement of a girl before the onset of menstruation. A girl is kept separated from all males and from sunlight for 12 days. On 12th day the girl has to pay homage to the sun.
Ihipa (Marriage)
Marriage in Newar culture is social union of two families. The parents arrange marriage for their sons and daughters. After the groom's and bride's families decision, the marriage is confirmed by giving 10 betel nuts along with fruits, sweets etc (known as lakha) from groom's family to the bride.
Marriage ceremony is performed at the time scheduled by the astrologer. Swayamber, Honkegu, Chipa Theeke (symbol of sharing everything) is performed. Bride presents 10 betel nuts to all her family members. Brother of her mother, paju, takes on his back and carries her out of the house. He then presents her to the groom's family.
The bride's family visit the groom's house on the 4th day , to see how the bride is being treated , which is known as Khwah soye (seeing the bride's face).
Jyah Janko
Jyah janko is old age ceremony to mark one's longevity. It is celebrated for five times.
First - Bhimratharohan - At the attainment of 77 years, 7 months, 7 days
Second - Chadraratharohan - At the attainment of 83 years, 4 months, 4 days
Third - Devaratharohan - At the attainment of 88 years, 8 months, 8 days
Forth - Divyaratharohan - At the attainment of 99 years, 9 months, 9 days
Fifth - Mahadivyaratharohan - At the attainment of 105 years, 8 months, 8 days
Sithan
As soon as a person dies, all the Guthi (social organisation) members are informed. Four lamps are set around the four direction of the corpse. Mha gele, adoration of the corpse is marked. Funeral procession is accompanied with Nayahkhin drum followed by a lot of people wailing and crying. Cremation is different in different castes

Friday, August 14, 2009

Swosthani and Shalinadi- sankhu (Shankharapur)

Friday, August 14, 2009
Most of the Nepalese Hindu households have a tradition of reading out the Hindu scripture called Swosthani beginning on the full moon day called Milla-punhi (mid- January) in the bright fortnight of the month called Poush (mid-January) and ending on the next full moon day called See-punhi (mid-February) in the month of Magha in the Vikram calendar.

Nepalis believe that reading out and listening to the Hindu scripture called Swosthani help them in keeping away evil spirits and inauspicious things from their home. Some women take a Swosthani brata (a day fast) for the whole month. They believe that such undertakings please Goddess Swosthani, and she meets their wishes. Goddess Parvati, believed to be another form of Goddess Swosthani, had undertaken such religious worship to achieve her goal of receiving Lord Shiva as her spouse.

People dedicate this auspicious month of Magha to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. They spend the whole month on in service of and in praise of this divine couple. A month long religious fair is held at the river called Salinadi in Sankhu about 20km northeast of Kathmandu. People venerate Goddess Swosthani and demigoddess Chandrawoti who suffered the consequences of the insult she had inflicted on Goddess Swosthani. Later on, Chandrawoti undertook the Swosthani brata for a month to atone for the sin and she got relief from her suffering and became a demigoddess.

The Nepali version of the Holy Scripture called Swosthani begins with the description of the creation of heaven, earth, divinities, demons, humans, ghosts, animals and birds. After the creation of the heaven and earth, the story goes on telling about the lives of divinities, and how one divinity insulted another. It goes on describing the life of Lord Shiva with his first spouse called Satidevi, and then with the second spouse called Parvati, and then the life of human called Gomaiju, her son Navaraj, and his spouse called Chandrawoti. The story ends with the elevation of Navaraj and Chandrawoti to the status of king and queen by the grace of Goddess Swosthani.

Narration of these stories takes one full month for a person reading out a number of pages for about an hour every evening during the winter month called Magha dedicated to this religious service. The reader performs a small puja to the scripture before opening it to read. A small wicker plate of popcorn and fried peanuts or of any other ready to eat sweet item is set beside the scripture so that it also would listen to the scripture. All household members and neighbors who do not have such a scripture to read or no person to read joining the household members listen to the story of Swosthani. At the end of reading the scripture, the reader makes offerings of the food set aside to Goddess Swosthani and then distributes it to the listeners as the blessing from the Goddess.

After the story of creation of earth, heaven, divinities, demons, humans, animals and birds, the story of marrying one daughter after another of Hindu demigod called Dachhe prajapati begins. Dachhe prajapati had tens of fabulous daughters married to various divinities. Lord Shiva alone remained unmarried among the deities. When Lord Shiva came to know Dachhe prajapati had given his daughters in marriages to deities leaving behind a single senior most daughter with him. Lord Shiva thought that Dachhe prajapati must have set her aside for him to marry her. So, Lord Shiva himself approached Dachhe prajapati for the hands of the senior most daughter called Satidevi. Dachhe prajapati and his wife did not give her in marriage to anybody because they wanted her to be with them during their old age. When Lord Shiva approached Dachhe prajapati with the proposal of marrying Satidevi, he not only rejected the proposal but also insulted Lord Shiva in public. Dachhe prajapati was a conservative Hindu whereas Lord Shiva was a liberal one.

The preserver of the Hindu world, Lord Vishnu, and heavenly king Indra saw urgency in easing the insult inflicted on Lord Shiva, as the Hindu world might be in jeopardy if something would go wrong with Lord Shiva. So, they tricked Dachhe prajapati into giving his daughter Satidevi in marriage to Lord Shiva. This was actually a reconciliation Lord Vishnu attempted to bring about between Lord Shiva and Dachhe prajapati. He, however, never forgot the trick played by Lord Vishnu on him. He also never forgave Lord Shiva for the marriage. So, Dachhe prajapati ignored Satidevi and her spouse after the marriage.

When Satidevi came to know that her father Dachhe prajapati did not invite her to the great fire-offering (Yagyan) he had been performing, she rushed to her father and demanded explanation from the father for not inviting her to such a great event. Dachhe prajapati instead of promising her not to repeat such a mistake, continued to insult Lord Shiva, which Satidevi could not tolerate any more, and she in her extreme anger jumped into the burning fire and ended her life.

When Lord Shiva saw the lifeless body of Satidevi lying on the great fire at the altar, he could not control his anger, too. He cut off the head of Dachhe prajapati and tossed it on the fire. With great sorrow and repentance for the misdeeds of Dachhe prajapati, his spouse pleaded with Lord Shiva to return the life of Dachhe prajapati. His mind filled with pity for her; Lord Shiva picked up the head of a sacrificial lamb and fixed it on the shoulder of Dachhe prajapati with its face on backside, and gave him a new life with the head of a lamb.

Lord Shiva carried the lifeless body of Satidevi on his back, and began trotting around the globe, again posing threat to the Hindu world. Gradually, the corpse of Satidevi began decomposing, and fell one piece of her body after another on the ground creating various deities on the site.

Satidevi reincarnated in Parvati. Satidevi was born again as the daughter of king Himalaya. The king named her Parvati. When Parvati reached puberty; her parents wanted her to marry to Lord Vishnu. However, she developed a wish for receiving Lord Shiva as her spouse. To get her wish met, she undertook a month long Swosthani brata and got married to Lord Shiva as a result. The divine couple has two sons called Kumar and Ganesh.

Ganesh became an elephant-headed because Lord Shiva not being able to recognize Ganesh beheaded him in anger when Ganesh refused Lord Shiva an entry into his own abode. Ganesh was keeping a guard while his mother Parvati was taking a bathe in her chamber when Lord Shiva arrived at Kailash. Lord Shiva could not recognize Ganesh as he had been away from his home called Kailash for several years. By the time, Ganesh had grown quite a bit making him unrecognizable. When Parvati saw Lord Shiva in her inner chamber she realized that something must have gone wrong. Realizing the mistake Lord Shiva sent his attendants to get a head of any beings they met on the way at first hand. They met an elephant and cut off its head, and brought it to Lord Shiva who in turn fixed it on the shoulder of Ganesh.

The divine couple decided to grant a boon to their sons: Kumar and Ganesh, as they have come of age. They called on them and asked them to make a round trip to the Mount Sumeru so that they could bless them with a boon on their return.

Ganesh secured the boon from the parents first despite his vehicle being a lousy rat. Kumar has a peacock as his vehicle whereas Ganesh has a rat. Kumar immediately rode on the peacock and flew to make a trip to Mount Sumeru. Poor Ganesh could not dare to ride on the rat and make an almost impossible trip to Mount Sumeru. So, Ganesh was upset. Seeing his master sad, the rat asked Ganesh the reason for being so sad. Thinking useless to tell his problem to the mundane rat, Ganesh kept quite. However, the rat went on insisting Ganesh on telling him the truth. Ultimately, Ganesh gave in and told him what his parents had said to him. The rat smiled and told Ganesh that it was a very simple thing to do for securing the boon first. Then, the rat said to Ganesh, “Master, please go to your parents, ask them to stand together and then go round them three times and prostrate at their feet and tell them ‘you are my parents and you are Mount Sumeru, too for me.’” Then, Ganesh took the counsel of the rat and went to his parents: Lord Shiva and Parvati; Ganesh did to them what the rat told him to do. His parents were very happy with him, and granted him the boon of the rights to receiving the first offerings. So, none of the Hindu deities accept the offerings made to them without making offerings to Lord Ganesh.

Kumar secured the boon but less significant than Ganesh received. When Kumar came back from the trip to Mount Sumeru; Ganesh has already received the boon. Kumar strongly protested against his parents’ granting the boon first to Ganesh, as he did not meet the condition set by them. However, the parents could not revoke the boon given to Ganesh; they made Kumar eligible to receive offerings before Ganesh but in a simple form. So, the Newar community has a stone carved into an eight-petal form Kumar set at the entrance to their houses, and they bring offerings to him in a leaf plate and drop them on it before going to make offerings to Lord Ganesh.

After having a divine boon, Ganesh himself began making favors to his devotees. The first beneficiary was the family of Shiva Bhakta Brahmin. As the couple was poor and childless, Ganesh made them rich, and then granted the couple a daughter. The couple with a beautiful daughter lived happily for a number of years.

However, a great misfortunate befell them. Shiva Bhakta Brahmin lost his wealth; he had to give her beloved daughter called Gomaiju in marriage to an old man without any possessions of wealth. Gomaiju underwent several kinds of sufferings because she unknowingly antagonized the Lord. She brought up her son, Navaraj with a great difficulty.

Gomaiju revered Goddess Swosthani taking a fast every day for a month; as a result, she not only got relief from her sufferings but also got her son Navaraj crowned a king. At that time the tradition had it that an elephant with divine power went around the city-state to choose a king from among the people. The elephant chose Navaraj for a king.

However, his spouse Chandrawoti because of her ego of being a queen insulted Goddess Swosthani rejecting the blessed food offered by the porters carrying her to the palace. When the porters reached the bank of the river called Salinadi; Chandrawoti stopped the porters to have a break for some time. During the break the porters went to watch the group of people performing worship to Goddess Swosthani. They listened to the story of Goddess Swosthani, received the Goddess-blessed food and saved some of it for Chandrawoti. When the porters came to her she was furious with them at spending so much time on wandering elsewhere. They tried to explain to her where they were and why they took so much time to come back. However, she did not listen to their explanation. She tossed away the blessed food offered to her from their hands.

Chandrawoti suffered the consequences of her insult to Goddess Swosthani. In no time, there was a heavy rain. The river Salinadi swelled up with the water from the rain. The swollen river swept away the porters while crossing the river. She fell down the river. She turned into a stone and remained there in-situ. Nobody could recognize her and nobody offered her any food.

Later on, she realized her sins and to atone for the sins, made offerings to Goddess Swosthani for a month. She not only got relief from her sins but also transformed into a demigoddess by the grace of Goddess Swosthani.

Thereafter, Nepalese people set the tradition of revering Goddess Swosthani, Demigoddess Chandrawoti, her spouse Navaraj and the porters at Salinadi during the month long religious fair in the month of Magha.

Women taking the month long Swosthani brata complete their offerings on the full moon day in the bright fortnight of the Magha month. On this day, they perform purification rites, and they fast for the whole day. In the evening they perform special offerings to Goddess Swosthani. These offerings comprise 108-special bread called ‘achheta’ prepared for making offerings to the Goddess on this occasion. After the completion of offerings to the Goddess they offer these blessed bread first to their husband. If they do not have a husband, they offer the bread to their son, if they do not have a son, to the son of their close friends. If they do not have even such sons, they dispose the bread in a holy river.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shree Krishna Janmastami- Sankhu

Thursday, August 13, 2009







Shree Krishna Janmastami
Sri Krishna Janmastami marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. This festival is also known as Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami. Lord Krishna is regarded as the 8th avatar or 'incarnation' of Lord Vishnu.It falls on Saptami of Bhadra (August/September).

The birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is one of the greatest Hindu festivals for the Hindus of Nepal. In Kathmandu Valley, the focal point of the festival is the Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square. Devotees gather around the 17th century temple to light small oil lamps and chant as a mark of devotion. As midnight, the hour of Lord Kirshna's birth approaches, chanting becomes more frenzied, and people rush to worship the impressive image of Lord Krishna inside the temple. Patan is covered under our Best of Nepal Tour.

Videos from Ropai Jatra

video video

Sankhu- Ropai Jatra Pictures












Monday, August 10, 2009

Ponds of Sankhu

Monday, August 10, 2009
1. Pala Pukhu (Pond) - This pond was built for the production of lotus flower for Goddess Bajrayogini.
2. Pukhulachhi Pukhu- This pond was built for religious purpose especially for Gathemangal ( Ghantakarna ) festival.
3. Bhaudhwakha Pukhu- These twin ponds are built for welcoming any visiters to the city. Pots full of water with flowers are considered good omen for both welcome and farewell in Hindu culture.
4. Mahahyo Pukhu- This pond was built for worship of Lord Shiva "Jyoti Lingeshwor".

Gates of Sankhu

1. Bhau Dhwaha (Bride Gate) - Main entry gate of Sankhu.
2. Sangal Dhwakha ( Daughter Gate) - It is the gate from which to bid farewell to a daughter who is married off.
3. Dhunlla Dhwakha - This gate is important for Bajrayogini festival. All kinds of ritual processions including the chariot of Bajrayogini enter through this gate.
4. Mahadyo Dhwakha: Dead body of Sankhu is taken out to funeral through this gate.
5. Historical Courtyard- Before Malla Dynasty in Nepal, Sankhu was a separate kingdom. The historical Durbar square ( Layaku ) has still been preserved.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

GaiJatra Pictures

Sunday, August 9, 2009
The festival of "Gai Jatra", the procession of cows, is generally celebrated in the Nepalese month of Bhadra (August-September). The festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Nepal. The whole complex of Gai Jatra festival has its roots in the ancient age when people feared and worshipped Yamaraj,"the god of death". However, the ironical sessions synonymous with the Gai Jatra festival came into tradition in the medieval period of Nepal during the reign of Malla Kings. Hence, the present form of Gai Jatra is a happy blending of antiquity and medievalism.

According to the traditions since times immemorial, every family who has lost one relative during the past year must participate in a procession through the streets of Kathmandu leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable then a young boy dressed as a cow is considered a fair substitute. In Hinduism, a cow is regarded as the most venerated among all the domestic animals. It is believed that the cow, revered as a holy animal by Hindus, will help the deceased relative's journey to heaven.

In terms of historical evidences, once when King Pratap Malla lost his son, his wife, the queen remained dumbstruck. The king was very sad to see the condition of his beloved queen. The king, in spite of his several efforts, could not lessen the grief of his wife. By all means he wanted to see little smile on the lips of his sweetheart. He announced that someone who ever made the queen laugh would be rewarded adequately.

During the festival of Gai Jatra, the cow procession was brought before the griefstricken queen. Then the participants began ridiculing and befooling the important people of the society. Finally when the social injustice and other evils were highlighted and attacked mercilessly, the queen could not stop smiling. The queen laughed, and Pratap Malla, the king ensued a tradition of including jokes, satires,mockery and lampoon in the Gai Jatra days.

After the procession is over, in the afternoon, nearly everyone takes part in another age-old tradition in which the participants dress up and wear masks. The occassion is filled with songs,jokes, mockery and humour of every kind become the order of the day until late evening. Hence, Gai Jatra is a healthy festival which enables the people to accept the reality of death and to prepare oneself for the life after death. According to Hinduism,"whatever a man does in his life is a preparation to lead a good life, after death".





Video from Gaai Jatra ( Cow festival)

video

Valley denizens celebrates Gai Jatra- the cows festival- one of the famous Hindu festivals. The festival is marked in memory of the departed soul with many dance and drama performances mainly in different places of the three districts—Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.

video

Gai means cow, and the Gai Jatra or cow festival lasts for eight days. Dancing, singing, pantomime, anything that causes mirth and laughter is part of the festival's highlights. People whose family members died during the year, parade a decorated cow and young family members, dressed as cows or hermits. The streets are filled with musical bands, children in costumes made to resemble cows. Amongst the three towns in the Kathmandu Valley, the celebration in Bhaktapur is the most interesting. Tall bamboo contraptions, wrapped in cloth and topped with horns fashioned of straw, and palanquins bearing clay figures of cows, are carried around the town in memory of the dead. The weirdly made up

Ghintang-gishi dancers, gyrating to the rhythm of boisterous music, are the prime attraction in this festival processions.

Tantric Goddesses- Bajrayogini

The name Bajrayogini suggests a close association with Tantric beliefs. A Bajra (dorje in Tibetan) is the Buddhist thunderbolt symbol that looks a bit like a hollow dumb-bell and vajraya is the name for the Tantric form of Buddhism. Tantric beliefs developed as a synthesis of ancient pre-Hindu religions and new ideas that rejecctedmany orthodox Hindu and buddhist beliefs. Tantric believers hold that endless rebirths on the journey to nirvana can be avoided by incorporating magival rites with all the energies of existence- both good and bad under the strict tutelage of a lama. Sex and sexual imagery play a central role.
Hinduism was initially a patriarchal religion introduced by the Aryan invaders of India and overriding the existing earth goddesses. The development of shaktis or the female consorts joyed tremendous popularity in the Kathmandu valley , sometimes completely overshadowing their male counterparts, especially in Tantric belief. A parallel development is Buddhism produced the female counterparts to the Dhyani Buddhas.
A jogini is the female counterpart to a Bhairab, one of the wrathful forms of Shiva. In other words a jogini is the wrathful form of Shiva's partner Mhadevi (great goddess) wh0 is parwati in a more peaceful manifestation. Among some of Mahadevi's fearsome manifestations are Kali, Durga, Annapurna and Taleju.
So who is Bajrayogini you ask? A Tantric goddess is the simple answer- a unique Nepali goddess possibly combining elements from Hinduism, Buddhism and perhaps even earlier religions.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Nagarkot to Sankhu

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Fewer walkers follow the trail to Sankhu just north of the Naarkot to Changu Narayan ridge line in the north-ast of the valley. The picturesque Newari town is surrounded by rich agricultural land and is easily visible fom Nagarkot or from the trail down to Changu Narayan. The trail follows the same rigdge line then drops steeply down the hillside in the north westerly direction, joining the main Helambu to Sankhu trail and passing a gruop of teahouses where you can ask directins to the important temples of Bajrayogini. The temple is to the north of Sankhu and by leaving the main trail you can walk wet to this interesting site before completing thedescent to sankhu.
From sankhu buses run back to Kathmandu via Boudhnath every 15-20 minutes..


Nagarkot Tower

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sankhu & Bajrayogini Old Tibetan Trade Route

Friday, August 7, 2009
The route to Sankhu follows the old Tibetan trade route past Boudhnath. After Boudhnath the road to Sundarijal turns off to the north east and the road to Sankhu continues to the east.
Gokarna Safari Park ( 10Km)
Continuing east of Boudhnath from Kathmandu, the entrance to the former Royal Game Reserve or Kings Forest is off the Sankhu road. A deep park was created here alate in the 19th century and the wallled reserve has spotted birds.
This is one of the few woodlands left on the valleyh floor and used to be a great spot for picnics amd a bot pf ga,e-spotting. Unforntunately it has been closed and golf course and resort are being developed in the open part of the reseve closet to the road. The golf course should have been completed by now but entry may be only for golf club members.
Sankhu (20Km)
Sankhu was once an important post on the trading route betwen Katmandu and Lhasa, and although the town's great days are over, you can still see many signs of its former prosperity. The town was first settled in the LIcchavi era and there are many old homes decorated with fine woodcarving. Although many traditional aspects of Newari life continue in the town, the most persuasive reason to visit this place is the beautiful Bajra yogini Temple complex, an easy walk or bicycle ride about 2km north of town.
Getting There & Away
Buses to Sankhu leave from the ity bus station and Sat Dobato near Lalitpur. They take about 1:30 hours and Rs. 26 . It is easy to reach Sankhu by bike. The road is sealed and flat (with a few minor exceptions), and basically follows the Manohara River. Its's an attractive and interesting ride takin about 1.5 hours byond Boudhnath. Rather than back track all the way, in the dry seson at least it is possible to cross the Manohara and climb to the fascinatin Changu Narayan Temple. ;

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Nepal Sambat

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The lunar calendar Nepal Sambat (Nepal Bhasa: नेपाल सम्बत) is commonly used in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. It is believed that in the reign of King Raghav Dev of Kathmandu, it was initiated by Sankhadhar Sakhwa to commemorate the pay back of all the debts of people living in Kathmandu, then known as "Ya." Local legend has it that he raised the funds through alchemy, turning the sand of the Bagmati river to gold dust. The Bikram Sambat is official calendar of Nepal. Gregorian calendar is also widely used due to it international acceptance and Nepal Sambat has its own special relevance for Newars living in Nepal. Nepal Sambat is one among few of the native calendars to Nepal.Most of others either passed over the time or only maintain existence in the religious calendars called Patro.

This calendar was widely used in official use during the Malla period in Kathmandu valley. After the unification of Nepal, Saka sambat took ground and later on, during the premiership of Chandra SJBR Bikram Sambat were recognized for official use. This calendar, Nepal sambat, is being revived, especially in Kathmandu valley, over the last 3 decades. Moreover, the calendar was widely used by Newars for cultural and religious purpose inside the Kathmandu because of its relation with festivals Jatra that are celebrated in Valley




Devanagari --------- Roman script ------------Corresponding Gregorian month
कछला ---------------------- Kachha lā ---------------------- November
थिंला ---------------------- Thin lā ---------------------- December
पोहेला ---------------------- Pohe lā ---------------------- January
सिल्ला ---------------------- Sil lā ---------------------- February
चिल्ला ---------------------- Chil lā ---------------------- March
चौला ---------------------- Chau lā ---------------------- April
बछला ---------------------- Bachha lā ---------------------- May
तछला ---------------------- Tachha lā ---------------------- June
दिल्ला ---------------------- Dil lā ---------------------- July
गुंला ---------------------- Goon lā ---------------------- August
ञंला ---------------------- Yen lā ---------------------- September
कौला ---------------------- Kau lā ---------------------- October

Newar caste system

Newar caste system
(note: this list does not mention all the castes found in Newar society. until a detailed and accurate list is provided, use it only to get a general idea about the Newar caste system.)

In alphabetic order, they are:

Buddhacharya (Buddhist/Swoyambhu priests)
Mulmi
Shakya (Gurju, goldsmiths)
Bajracharya / Vajracharya (Buddhist priests, Gubhaju)
Chyami (sweepers)and Shahi/Khadgi (butchers, meat-sellers)who are considered to be of lower caste by the Malla rulers. This caste system is probably considered to be the only dark side of the Malla dynasty.
Jati (music player)
Joshi (astrologers)
Juwa (AKA Jujuwa, advisors to the King)
Kansakar / Kasaa (bronze craftsmen)
Kulu (drum-makers)
Maharjan / Dangol (Jyapu, farmers)
Malla (Rulers)
Sayami/Manandhar (oil pressers)
Nakarmi (blacksmiths/people who makes machinery goods with iron or steel)
Pradhan / Shrestha/Amatya (Administrators)/WARRIORS OF NEPA REGIME
Prajapati (Kumha) (Potters)are a Newar clan, the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. The traditional Prajapati occupation is to make fine clay pots which have had significant importance among both the Hindu and Buddhist based socio-religious gatherings.However, the younger generation don't find it any more a lucrative business and thus are shifting to other professions.
Puun or Chitrakar (Artist/Painter)
Rajkarnikar halwai (confectioners)
Ranjitkar (dyers/dye related professionals)
Sagajyu (Merchant)
Sayajyu (Cleaner)
Shilpakar (sikami)
Shrestha (shyosyo)/WARRIOR OF NEPA MANDAL
Tamrakar (copper craftsmen)
Tuladhar (weigher craftsmen)
Tandukar
Vaidya (doctor)
Rajthala
Koju
Rajbhandari (Royal Treasurer / Ruling class of Kathmandu during Malla Period / Kaaji / newa warriors)

Newa people

Newa people
The Newa (Nepal Bhasa: नेवाः Newā(h), Classical Nepal Bhasa: नेवार Newār or नेवाल Newāl) are the indigenous people of Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. Newars are a linguistic community with Tibeto-Burman and Indo ethnictiy/race, bound together by a common language.
The term Newar applies roughly to the descendants of citizens of Medieval Nepal (consisting of Kathmandu Valley as the capital and the territory ever changing with farest extent being Gandaki river to west and Koshi river to the east, Tibet to north and Terai in south). Their common language being Nepal Bhasa ("Newari" according to Statistics Nepal) or the languages progenitor of Nepal Bhasa. According to Nepal's 2001 census, the 1,245,232 Newar in the country are the nation's sixth largest ethnic group, representing 5.48% of the population. Nepal Bhasa is of Tibeto-Burman origin (but heavily influenced by Indo-Aryan languages like Sanskrit, Pali, Bengali and Maithili). Nepal Bhasa also contains Austro-Asiatic words and phrases. In 2001 the language is spoken by 825,458 Nepalese as their mother tongue .



History
The different divisions of Newars had different historical developments before their arrival in the Kathmandu valley. The common identity of Newar was formed after their arrival to the valley. Until the unification of Nepal, with the possible exception of the Muslims under Gayasuddin who attacked and destroyed many parts of the valley, all people who had inhabited the valley at any point of time were either Newar or were progenitors of Newar. So, the history of Newar correlates to a great magnitude to the history of Kathmandu valley prior to the Unification of Nepal.

The earliest known history of Newar and Kathmandu valley were recorded in the form of mythical scriptures. One of such texts which even accounts the creation of the valley is Swayambhu Purana. According to the Swayambhu Purana, the Kathmandu valley was a giant lake called Nāgdaha until the Bodhisattva Manjusri, with the aid of a holy sword called Chandrahrāsa, cut open a part of southern hill of Kachchhapāla. and then cut open Gokarnadaha and drained the giant lake, allowing humans to settle the valley land. This apocryphal legend is supported by some geological evidence of an ancient lakebed and it provides an explanation for the high fertility of Kathmandu valley soil.

According to the Swayambhu Purana, Manjusri then established a city called Manjupattan (Sanskrit "Land Established by Manjusri"), now called Manjipā, where he crowned Dharmākara as the king of the land[6]. A shrine dedicated to Manjusri is still present in Majipā.

No recorded historical document has been found after this era till the advent of Gopal era. A genealogy of emperors is recorded in a book called Gopal Raj Banshawali. According to this manuscript, Gopals were followed by Mahispals, and Kirats before Licchavis entered from south. Some claim Buddha to have visited Nepal during the reign of Kirat emperor Jitedasti.

The Licchavi dynasty ruled for at least 600 years, followed by the Malla dynasty in 12th century AD. The Nepal Bhasa script is estimated to be at least 1200 years old. Nepal Bhasa inscriptions in an ancient manuscript, Nidan, from 901 AD and on a stone tablet from 1173 AD in the courtyard of Bajrayogini Temple at Sankhu, attest to the deep roots of Newar culture in the Kathmandu valley.

Newar reign over the valley and their sovereignty and influence over neighboring territories ended approximately 250 years ago with the conquest of the Kathmandu valley in 1769 by the Gorkhali Shah dynasty founded by Prithvi Narayan Shah. Newars were engaged in business between Tibet and Moguls in India. So, to affect the Mogul empire's treasury, British East India Company supplied weapons and advice to Prithvi Narayan Shah, who in return would conquer Kathmandu Valley and put an end to the trade between Tibet and Moguls of India. Systematic brutal suppression of the Newar people was pursued for generations during early dynastic rule in order to discourage the Newar people from any political aspiration.

The Newar maintain a highly literate culture and their members are prominent in every sphere, from agriculture, business, education and government administration to medicine, law, religion, architecture, fine art, and literature. There is a wide acceptance of the fact that Newar architects may have been responsible for developing Asia's hallmark multi-tiered pagoda architecture. Newar devotional pauba and thangka painting, sculpture and metal craftsmanship are world-renowned for their exquisite beauty. The fine temples and palaces of Kathmandu, Patan (Yala) and Bhaktapur are largely the product of Newar architects, artisans and sculptors. Now the enterprising Newars are spread across Nepal, Bhutan, State of Sikkim and the District of Darjeeling in India.

Courtesy : Wikipedia

Festivals in Nepal

Festivals of Nepal
Mata Tirtha Snan (Mother's Day)
This is one of the widely celebrated festivals that falls on the first month, Baisakh (April/May), of the Nepali Year.It is also called Mata Tirtha Aunsi as it falls on a new moon night.

Gunla
Gunla is a sacred month dedicated to Lord Buddha. This festival commemorates the auspicious "rains retreat" when the Buddha, over 2,500 years ago, led his close disciples into solitary meditation and preached to them the essence of his principles.

Guru Purnima
Teachers come second (after the gods) in the Hindu hierarchy of respect. The full moon day of the month June/July is set aside for students to pay homage to their teachers and receive blessings from them in return. At a place called Vyas on the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway, special worship is performed to Maharishi Vyas, the saint who wrote the great Hindu epic, Mahabharat. For Buddhists, the occasion (Dilla Punhi) is sacred as the day when the Buddha-to-be entered the womb of Queen Mayadevi. Religious functions are held at monasteries and temples to commemorate the event.

Buddha Jayanti
This day is celebrated to mark the birthday of the Lord Buddha which dates back in about 543 BC.It falls on Jestha Purnima (Full moon night-May/June).

Gathemangal (Ghanta Karna) Chaturdasi
This festival celebrates the exorcism of the mythical demon Ghantakarna.It is also called Gathemangal festival which falls on trayodashi of the month Shrawan (July/August).

Janai Purnima,Rakshya Bandhan,Khumbeshwor Mela Patan
Janai Purnima is the festival of Sacred Thread.On this day every Hindu ties a sacred thread on the wrist.It is also called Rakshya Bandhan.On this day, there is a big Mela (fair) at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur.It is again on a full moon night.

Gaijatra (cow festival)
The festival of "Gai Jatra" (the procession of cows) which is one of the most popular festivals, is generally celebrated in the Nepalese month of Bhadra (August-September).This festival has its roots in the belief that the god of death, Yamaraj, must be feared and hence worshipped.

Shree Krishna Janmastami
Sri Krishna Janmastami marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. This festival is also known as Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami. Lord Krishna is regarded as the 8th avatar or 'incarnation' of Lord Vishnu.It falls on Saptami of Bhadra (August/September).



Gokarna Aunsi (Father's Day)
The most auspicious day to honour one's father is Gokarna Aunsi . It falls on the dark fortnight of Bhadra or in August or in early September.It is also known as Kuse Aunsi.

Ghode Jatra (Horse festival)
Ghode Jatra, the Horse Racing Day falls on Darhsa Shrad Aunsi of the month Chaitra (March/April). A grand horse parade takes place at Tundikhel, the central point of the city reputed to have been in the former days the largest parade ground in Asia.

Teej

"Teej" is the fasting festival for women. Through this religious fasting, hindu women pray for marital bliss, wellbeing of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. It takes place on Tritiya of Bhadra (August/September).

Indrajatra(Holiday Only in Kathmandu)
This festival falls in the end of Bhadra (August/September). Both Hindus and Buddhists unite to celebrate the festival of Indra Jatra with great enthusiasm.

Dashain Holidays (Grestest festival in Nepal)
During the month of Ashoj in the Bikram Sambat calendar (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon.

Tihar Bhai TIka

Tihar, the festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. In this festival we worship Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. It heralds the month of Kartik (October/November) starting with Kukur Puja-Narak Chaturdashi.

Maghe Sankranti
Maghe Sankranti is the beginning of the holy month of Magh, usually the mid of January. It brings an end to the ill-omened month of Poush (mid-december) when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. Even if it is considered the coldest day of the year, it marks the coming of warmer weather and better days of health and fortune.

Shree Panchami
This festival falls in mid Magh (January/February).It is celebrated as the birthday of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. She is the lily-white daughter of Shiva and Durga in spotless white robe and seated in a full-blown lotus.
This day is also dedicated to the martyrs of Nepal and hence celebrated as Martyr's Day.

Yomari Punhi
Yomari Punhi is one of the popular Newar festivals observed every year during the full moon of December. A yomari is a confection of rice-flour (from the new harvest)dough shaped like fig and filled with brown cane sugar and sesame seeds, which is then steamed.

Maha Shiva Ratri
This day is the celebration dedicated to the Lord Shiva which falls on the Trayodashi of the month Fagun (February/March).

Fagu Purnima (Holi)
The ancient Hindu festival of Holi falls on late February or on early March. Allegedly named after the mythical demoness Holika, it is a day when the feast of colours is celebrated. The festival is of a week. However, it's only the last day that is observed by all with colours.


Shree Ram Nawami
Ram Nawami is celebrated in the mid of Chaitra (March/April) as Lord Ram's Birthday. It is celebrated with much pomp at Janaki temple in Janakpur city, which lies in southern Nepal.

Bagh Jatra
The Bagh Jatra of Pokhara is another cultural baggage brought by Newars from Kathmandu, celebrated in early august. The festival has been celebrated in Pokhara for about 150 years. It expresses the people's joy at their deliverance from a marauding tiger. On the first day, people dress up like hunters and make an appearance accompanied by musical bands. The next day is an interlude devoted to the showing of comic programs. For three days,the hunting party parades through different parts of the town before "slaying" the beast to end the festivities.

Bhairav Kumari Jatra
This is one of the major religious celebrations in Dolkha, an historic town in north-eastern Nepal (133 km from Kathmandu off the highway to Tibet). The festival falls on early August; and consists of masked dances that go on non-stop for five days. Escorted by musical bands, dancers representing the deities Bhairav and Kumari and other gods and goddesses swirl and sway through Dolkha, visiting its many temples. On the occasion, devotees also undergo fasting and worship Bhairav and Kumari. The ceremony has a history going back more than five centuries.

Chaite Dasain
Chaite Dasain used to be the original day of the grand Dasain festival (which takes place exactly six months later now), but because people got their stomachs upset after feasting on spicy food during the warm month of Chaitra, the grand celebration was shifted to the cooler season. But the religious fervor is still evident in the celebrations of the day.

Gaura Parva
Gaura Parva is another celebration honoring Lord Krishna's birthday. It is celebrated in far western Nepal with much gusto for two days (August/September). Apart from the many ceremonies that happen during this festival, it is the occasion for married women to put on the sacred thread. The deuda dance is a major part of the festivities in which participants hold hands and form a circle as they step to traditional music.


Lhosar
Lhosar is the Tibetan New Year which falls on February/March. This festival is mast impressively observed by all the Tibetan-speaking populations. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and also at Boudhanath in Kathmandu.

Rato Macchendranath Jatra
(Begins on the full moon day of Baisakh)This is the longest as well as the most important festival of Patan. It begins with several days of ceremonies and the fabrication of a wooden-wheeled chariot at Pulchowk, near the Ashoka Stupa.

Mani Rimdu
(Full moon of the 9th Tibetan month) Mani Rimdu is the biggest event of the year for the Sherpas of the Khumbu region. Sherpas from the Khumbu region congregate at Thyangboche Gompa, the picturesque monastery situated on a spur at 3,870 meters from where both Mt. Everest and Ama Dablam can be seen.

Mata-yaa
Celebrated in mid-August Mata-yaa is one of Patan's popular festivals. It consists of a day-long procession of devotees going around the Buddhist courtyards of the town and offering worship at the shrines there. Carrying lighted tapers and joss sticks in their hands, Mata-yaa participants rush in a meandering file and visit the hundreds of Buddhist sites scattered all over Patan. They toss rice grains, flowers and coins at the shrines as they pass by. Some devotees wear elaborate and amusing costumes. Musicians also take part in the parade.

Neel Barahi Pyakhan
Neel Barahi Pyakhan is a sacred masked dance which is shown over four days(August/September)in different parts of Bode. Nineteen persons representing the town's guardian pantheon take part in the dance performance. Music is provided by a 27-piece traditional orchestra. The ceremony invokes peace and harmony, and is dedicated to the deity Neel Barahi whose temple is located in a jungle outside Bode. Bode adjoins Thimi which is 8 km east of Kathmandu.

Rath Yatra
Biratnagar in south-eastern Nepal brings out a spectacular chariot procession to mark Lord Krishna's birthday (August/September). The parade sets out from the Radha Krishna temple and goes around the town. The six-meter tall chariot carries the images of Krishna and his consort Radha and is drawn by hordes of devotees. The annual chariot festival was started in 1932 to commemorate the building of a temple dedicated to Krishna.

Sita Vivaha Panchami
This festival, commemorating the marriage of Sita to Ram, is particularly celebrated in Janakpur. Each year in Janakpur, idols of Ram and sita are brought out in bright processions and their Hindu wedding ceremony is enacted.

Tamu Dhee
Tamu Dhee (also known as Trahonte) is a Gurung holiday (august). Ceremonies are performed to purge the neighborhood of evil spirits and to safeguard one's farm and farm animals from hostile elements. The festival can be observed in Pokhara. Groups of people beating on different kinds of drums form a colorful procession and make house-to-house visits. Participants with their faces smeared with soot and wearing feather headdresses parade through the town to drive away negative influences and ensure peace and security.

Tansen Jatra
The hilltop town of Tansen in central Nepal exults in a week-long festive spree beginning with Janai Purnima, when Hindus change their sacred threads. The next day, Gai Jatra is marked by parading figures of cows made of bamboo and cloth. Ropai Jatra is the rice planting ceremony and participants perform plowing and planting acts on the streets. During Bagh Jatra, actors dressed up like tigers and hunters march through town. Then there are the parades. Images of Ganesh, Bhimsen and Narayan are placed on palanquins and carried around Tansen. The celebrations climax on August 12 with Bhagawati Jatra, the procession of the town's protective goddess.

Taya Macha
The Taya Macha dance is shown in different parts of Pokhara as part of the Gai Jatra observances. The five dancers, four dressed up as angels and one as a clown, are accompanied by a group of traditional musicians. It is believed that the performance will bring peace to the souls of those who have passed away during the previous year. The festival has its roots in the Kathmandu Valley. It was brought to Pokhara by Newars who migrated here centuries ago.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Songtsän Gampo

Sunday, August 2, 2009
Songtsän Gampo (Tibetan: , Wylie: Srong-btsan sGam-po, 605 or 617? - 649) was the founder of the Tibetan Empire (Tibetan: Bod; Chinese: 吐蕃, Tubo/Tufan), by tradition held to be the thirty-third ruler in his dynasty. In the Chinese records his name is given as Qizonglongzan.[1]

The dates of his birth and when he took the throne are not certain. In Tibetan accounts it is generally accepted that he was born in 617 (one year before the founding of the Tang Dynasty, when Gaozu of Tang became emperor of China). As he is thought to have ascended the throne at age thirteen (twelve by Western reckoning), by this reckoning c. 629 CE.[2][3]

There are difficulties with this position, however, and several earlier dates for the birth of Songtsän Gampo have been suggested, including 569, 605 or 593.[4] The question must remain open.

Utpala

Utpala or Bhaṭṭotpala (Bhaṭṭa-utpala) is the name of a 10th century Indian commentator of Vārāha Mihira's Brihat Samhitā. Brihat Samhitā is a Samhitā text of Jyotiṣa (Indian astrology and astronomy) . Samhitā is one of three branches of Jyotiṣa (Samhitā has many other meanings outside Jyotiṣa.

He is known for quoting six verses from Surya Siddhanta which are not found in the extant version of Surya Siddhānta. These six verses can be found in the 'Introduction' by S.Jain to the translation of Surya Siddhānta made by E. Burgess[1].

He is also the author of a commentary on Brahmagupta's Khaṇḍa-khādyaka (7th century). In this, he is a successor of Prthudaka and a predecessor of Amaraja.
 
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