FAMILIARIZATION WITH MIKHABAHAL : an ancient newar community
“MIKHABAHAL” one of the ancient and impressive newar community of the Lalitpur (Yala) “The City of Fine Arts” located extremely North-west of the city. Distinctly located at Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan City, ward No. 21. This Society carries Historic Values as in ancient period people of this colony were involved in territorial safeguard. Beside this, inhabitants possess agriculture as key profession. Colony is surrounded by ancient junction “Sulimaha” at north west, ancient lake “jag madu pukhu” (Pimbahal) at extreme west, at south-east further newar community “Chhayabhal”, at west Durbar Tole built up at the era of Rana regime, at north-west one of the famous gate “Yala Dhoka”, at north-east “Tahanani” newar community and at extreme north there lies “Baliphal” & “Nawanani”. It is consider as one of the massive newar colony among others colonies. People over here follow both Hindu and Buddhist religion.
Initially “Mikhabahal” was known as “Metkhabahal” which was narrated at the time of ancient Malla regime. Later on, in modern history Metkhabahal succeed as Mikhabahal. In the context of ancient history, the name Mikhabahal was derived from Suprechan Mahabihar situated inside the colony. It seems that long time ago in the process of renaming many bihars and Mahabihars; Suprechan Mahabihar which is the “Sanskrit word” was transform into Mikhabahal in mother tongue (Nepal Bhaasa).
Besides this Suprechan Mahabir or Mikhabahal, there are 7 (seven) other small courtships (Chowks) with 7 (seven) Lukuma dhya (Hidden Gods). Similarly there are all together 7 (seven) rest houses (paati) and 7 (seven) wells (Ogf/) located at various part of the colony. Later on, as the density of the population increases colony was expanded from west to North West “Pingal” for habitation.
“Jyapu” are considered as the true descendants of the original population of Kathmandu Valley are in majority within Newari community. So in “Mikhabahal“, entire population of this colony is of Maharjan, Dangol, and Singh etc as a whole “Jyapu“. A part from these other newar castes such as shrestha, Bajracharya and other are also habitant of this colony.
During ancient malla period Mikhabahal Gate located at north-west of Mikhabahal was Gateway to Kathmandu. Later it was well known as Patan Gate (Yala Dhoka). Back in 12th-17th century this Mikhabahal was habitual boarder of the territory whereas its extreme boarder line was extended upto Bagmati River. As a part of territorial safeguard, habitual boarder was enclosed by many forts (u9), weed (emf/), gate etc. At that period there used to be the court (an open area) which later became habitual area and named as “Kothulachhi“. Those ancient forts, weed lies to the west had been wiped out and walls had been built up which is now belong to “Durbar Tole”. At that time this colony was meant to be grandeur of the territory, as mostly people of this colony were ambitious for territorial safeguard.
Interior view of Mikhabahal colony is picturesque as there is Achyovya Buddha (cIff]Eo a’4) inside traditionally built up and well decorated and wooden craving Suprechan Mahabihar and two stone lions as symbol of power escorting Mahabihar, Dharmadhatu, sutpas are lined up in the courtship . Outside courtship too there is Dharmadhatu, sutpa and temple of Lord Ganesh. Another Ganesh temple (big one) recognized at “Kothulacchi” where worshippers from Mikhabahal and Tahanani adore Lord Ganesh “God of Success” Occasionally. Historic person Shivram from “Kothulachhi” had inaugurated huge stupa.
People from this colony worship Lord Indra one of the significant God of Vedic Era also known as god of rains and thunderstorms with great importance. As per this, there is a traditional culture of displaying “Indra Dhawaj”-statuette of Lord Indra placed on erected wooden pieces covered with specific flora (JofF:jfF) outside the courtship on the occasion of Indra jatra which falls in monsoon. In this regard it had been induced that Mikhabahal colony had been in exist since Vedic Era.
In context of devout, it carries specific importance because of its living goddess “Kumari” and in those days Rajopadhaya Brahman of the Lalitpur regard living goddess of Mikhabahal as their Living goddess too. It had been revealed that the lass from Maga: Khala was the former living goddess of Mikhabahal since then this tradition had been halt.
The chief association (Guthi) of this Mikhabahal is “Degu Puja Guthi” which consists of all together 825 members (Guthiyar) almost all families and its members. But as time passed few Guthiyar had voluntarily leave the Guthi. In other to get access in this Guthi for newlywed bride, wedding couples have to offer treats some sort of social party popularly known as “Hin Bhowe“ to all the Guthiyar as per rule and regulation. This is quite complicated process for newlyweds. So, analyzing this complications and economically stresses new course of action had been implemented in which this “Hin Bhowe” is organized once a year, gathering all new married brides. During this procedure, Rs. 5000/- is accumulated from each bride for organizing “Hin Bhowe” and if expenditure exceeded then Guthi will sort it out.
Another association (Guthi) of this Mikhabahal is “Sana Guthi“. As there are two “Degu puja Guthi”, there are two “Sana Guthi” too. As Degu Puja guthi consist of all family members of colony, unlike “Degu Puja Guthi”, “Sana Guthi” consist of only elder male member of each family. Another Guthi of Mikhabahal is “Manka Guthi” which consists of only male Guthiyar of “Degu puja Guthi”. Distinct, “Degu Puja Guthi” and “Sana Guthi”, there is only one “Manka Guthi” in this community.
In the context of Education and Edification, Mikhabahal community had progressed much more. Literate rate of this community is much higher than illiterate. Out of the total inhabitant 2% have mastered in their respective field, similarly 6% have graduated in their respective field, 13% have completed their +2 level, 22% have passed out School Leaving Certificate, 30% are formally secondary level passed and 27% are completely illiterate. Members of this colony too are associated with various intellectual professions such as doctor, medical technology, civil engineering, architect, nurse, pilot, computer engineering, lecturer, financier, government employees.
Reckless urbanization which result degradation of cultivated land and shortage of land had forced to put aside their traditional profession of agriculture and are compelled to accept other profession such as plumbing, electrician, carpenter, builder, etc. Beside these there are industrialists, bankers and businessmen too. In this way people of this Mikhabahal are actively involved in upliftment of economic sector.
Inhabitants once served as territorial safeguard possessing traditional profession as agriculture, newars of this locality are achieving vital achievement in the field of education. Similarly, are preserving its traditional art, cultural, norms and values as well as uplifting its economic development.