A brief insight into geology of Katmandu Valley will clarify the formation of Katmandu valley. The process of mountain building, oregeny began ten to fifteen million years ago in the Miocene period. The Indian continent started to drive against the Asian continent, the outcome was the formation of the Himalayan chain. In the Pleistocene period about 600,000 years back the ongoing crashing between the two continents resulted into the rise of the present Himalayas. Hence, the rivers, which could not erode swiftly, were dammed into the present lakes such as Rara and Tilicho. Similarly, later in the Pleistocene period uplifting of Mahabharat Lekh and a host of other foothills occurred. The incident dammed the rivers flowing south of the Himalayas, thus formation of lakes such as prehistoric Kathmandu Valley occurred. The valley prior to its formation as the valley was regarded as Kaladraha, the lake of black water and the abode of the nagas.
The story of Katmandu Valley begins with Swoyambhunath "the self existent lord" the shaft of light protruding from an immensely beautiful lotus blooming in the center of the lake Kaladraha. As the myth goes, Bodhisatwa Manjushri recognized 'Swoyambhunath" as divine and wanted to convert the lake into a valley so that people could visit this holy site. Therefore, with his supernaturally powerful sword Chandahasa he cut a gorge at the place called Chovar. Water flowed out from the break turning the lake into a fertile valley. Then he built a settlement known as 'Manjupatan', which stretched out from Swoyambhunath to Guheswori, the place where the root of the lotus was found.
As far back as the origin of the Nepali goes, the Nepalese genealogy derives that Gopals, the cowherds were the first ruling dynasty of Nepal and Dharmakar was the first ruling king, who ruled in Katmandu. The Kirata dynasty followed the Gopals and Yalamber was their first ruling king. The notable dynasty after Kirata was the Lichhavi dynasty going as far back as 400 A.D. Regarded as the "Golden Era" in the history of Nepal the Lichhavi period saw affluent society, rich culture and massive development in art & architecture. Official history of Nepal starts from the time of the Lichhavi dynasty, to be more specific from 464 A.D. the reign of Lichhavi King Manadeva. Manadeva, Amsuverma and Narendra Dev were the great rulers of this age.
From 12th century onwards, Malla dynasty began ruling in the valley. Their first king was Ananda dev Malla who ruled from Bhaktapur. In 15th century, King Yakshya Malla divided and gave his kingdom to his children. Thereon three distinct kingdoms Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Kantipur were formed in the valley. Religious fervor, which leads to fierce competition among the kings, resulted into construction of palaces and innumerous temples dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist deities. The cities were adorned with many beautiful pagoda, shikhara and gumbaj styled temples and bihars replete with idols of gods and goddesses. The way the Malla rulers had harmonized art & architecture with religion was simply ingenious, it proved the depth and richness of the culture. Today these edifices are major attraction to tourists worldwide. In 1768 A.D., King Prithvi Narayan Shah from Gorkha invaded Katmandu valley and ended the rule of Malla dynasty.
Dashain is the most important of all the Hindu festivals. For two weeks, Nepalis celebrate it as the main religious and social festival. People rejoice by visiting relatives, family get together, lavish feasts and receiving gifts. Above all people in general go to shrines dedicated to Goddess of power, Durga to pay their respects.Read More