Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Damaha House

Kathmandu was known as city of temples. It is said that there used to be more temples than houses. But story is different now: modern houses have outnumbered and dwarfed not only proverbial temples but also traditional houses. However, splendor of medieval art and architecture is still sparkling in every corner.

Temple is to install the gods and goddesses but it is also built for different religious purposes. Dyochhe (a Newari term) looks like normal house with a pinnacle and a toran, where all the things necessary for festivals and jatra (religious and cultural procession), like chariot and rope are kept and priests also live there. Soldiers used to keep their weapons in certain temple with belief that weapons would acquire the divine power.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spiritual Guard

Under the fading light of solar lamp, Chepang jhankri (shaman) was beating the dhyangro (drum) and uttering mantra. Sitting by the side of the fire and being surrounded by family members and onlookers, jhankri first muttered few words with slow beat of drum that gained the momentum gradually culminating in violent shaking of his body and again slowing down the pace.

Rhythmic sound of drum and the small bells, attached at the circular rim of drum, was so resounding that people from afar knew that jhankri was flexing his muscles against the evil spirits to drive them away from the house. Family offered him rice grains and money on the plate. He put the string of beads upon the plate. The family members were busy preparing the essentials: pieces of stone, wooden pegs and thread needed for the rituals.