Vaishya Dev, The Toothache God—When Belief Gets You Cured

Have a dental issue but no money to get a treatment? This might just be the you want to visit. 

As you walk across the alleys that lead you from Indrachowk to Thamel you can see a lump like structure in one of the buildings. It’s not an ordianry lump, but one with thousands of coins nailed to it. A lump filled with nails and the passerby bowing their heads on, that’s the Vaishya Dev temple—Newari god of toothaches.

The temple is believed to be a  healing center for all sorts of dental issues. A number of locals can be spotted here when they have a toothache; they come by and pray for the ache to fade away. A tradition practiced since the time of their forefathers till date; the locals, particularly Newars, still make a point to go to this particular spot before going to an actual dentist, whenever they have a toothache. A coin in nailed into the log of wood once they finish their prayer.

A long while back, there was a tree and a statue there, of which now remains only a piece of log but with hundreds and hundreds of coins nailed to it. The legend even has it that the log is a cutting from a legendary tree known as Bangemudha.

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The spot now is home to a number of orthodontists’ offices. This superstitious site attracts many worshippers, as well as the patients to the dental professional around it.

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Written by Dorjee Khando

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