Kirtipur – Glorious City

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The name Kirtipur is derived from Kirti which means Glory and Pur which means City. This is one of the other city along with Kathmandu which still remains isolated and unexplored. It is the city where my mom was born and she grew up there. Though it is not so far from Kathmandu it is still out of reach from the tourism activities. I still wonder why hasn’t anyone seen the glory of Kirtipur. I mean lots of other cities like Bhaktapur and Patan are overwhelmed with tourist but since my lifetime I haven’t seen any tourists roaming in the streets of Kirtipur. May be it is due to the fact that the city has less amount of land to cover and the due to its hygiene factor back some years ago. Kirtipur is spread in 14 hectares of land, and is located 5 km from the center of Kathmandu.

May be the history has something to do in regards to the popularity of Kirtipur as well. There are many stories of the battle of King Prithvi Narayan Shah back then when he was trying to unite all the small countries into one single Nepal. Amongst all Kirtipur was too tough to beat. Kirtipur back then was a small country ruled by a king and the kingdom was basically a hill where people lived uphill. King Prithivi Narayan Shah was defeated so many times due to the hill factor. It is said that people just captured lots of weapons of the Shah King back then, and amazing the tools or weapons the people of Kirtipur fought was only stones; big and small ones. They would just roll over huge stones over the hill and soon the Shah King troopers would have to retreat. Finally, in 1826 B.S. (Nepalese Calendar as Bikram Sambat) it was annexed to the kingdom of Nepal by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in his third attempt.

There are lots of beautiful landmarks situated in Kirtitpur amongst which Bagh Bhairav Temple is one of the most popular temple dedicated to God Bhairav in the form of a tiger. This god is regarded as the guardian of Kirtipur and the locals call it Ajudeu, a grandfather god. The three-storey temple is rectangular and the weapons like swords and shields are showcased in the front roof of the temple which are said to be presented by Newari troops after their defeat by Late King Prithivi Narayan Shah. Just some minutes walk over Bagh Bhairav comes Uma-Maheshwor Temple of goddess Uma (Parvati) and god Maheshor (Mahadev). This temple is at the tip of the Kirtipur and we can see most of the Kathmandu valley from here.

The other main glory of Kirtipur is Tribhuvan University which is the largest and the oldest university of Nepal and is situated in Kirtipur. The university was established in 1959 as the first university of the country. It is the largest university in Nepal with more than 150,000 students and faculty.


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