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Myths of Taudaha Lake, Kathmandu

Myths of Taudha Kathmandu

Based on the edge of the valley of Kathmandu, the meaning of this this lake “Ta,” mean snake and “Daha,” mean lake. The name derives from tribal people from Nepal i.e. Newari community. The Taudaha is a pilgrimage spot both for the religions of Nepal Hindu as well as Buddhist. This article will briefly elaborate on ancient myths and stories related to this ancient sacred lake.

Manjushree And Taudaha Lake

As many of us probably know that, before the establishment of human civilization in Kathmandu valley, the valley was used to fill with water and due to this, settlement of human civilization was not possible. However, according to legends, a Buddhist mystical character Manjushree cut the hill from th south allowing the lake water to drain off.

After that Kathmandu valley became the home of humans. On the basis of mythology, Manjushree has cut the hill around modern Chobar which creates a narrow passage from which the Bagmati River exits the Kathmandu Valley. However, after Manjushree cut the hills, few ponds and lakes were remains at the time and Taudaha is believed to be one of them.

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Taudaha and Serpent King Karkotak

From the above story, we can guess how old is Taudaha lake. However, the story did not ends here. Actually, when the lake was drained, countless nagas, creatures who were half-human and half serpent became homeless. Their home was inside the water and as Manjushree drained away the water, they were left homeless.

On the basis of mythology, this incident angers the king of Serpent known as King Karkotak who is counted among the eight Nāga Kings in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist sources. At the time, in order to allay his wrath the local of Taudaha build an underwater kingdom which was believed to be one of the most beautiful underwater kingdom and by seeing the devotion of the people of Taudaha, Serpent king was amazed and pleased and with his other countless nagas, he went underground.

He promises to the people that he will continue to protect his kingdom as well as humans around the lake, on the condition that the tranquility of his water abode never be disrupted. And even today, none of the humans were allowed to swim in Taudaha.

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Mordern Taudaha

Currently, Taudaha perhaps only a clean water lake in the Kathmandu valley. It is now the home of countless fishs and birds. Around 40 species of birds have been recorded out of which 17 are residents, 2 are summer migrants and rest are winter migrants such as Black kite, Black drongo, Cattle egret, Oriental magpie robin, Common myna, Jungle crow.

There are many species of fishes in the lake. And the lake is also well known for large carps. Common carp, Silver carp, Grass carp, Bighead carp and it is also the home of mammals such as Golden jackal, Indian grey mongoose, and several rodents are found around the lake.

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Written by Vineet

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