Bungamati is a Newar village located in the Lalitpur Metropolitan city in Lalitpur district Nepal. It is one of the prepossessing villages of Kathmandu valley with an abundance of natural beauty as well as with strong religious value. This place has a large number of temples, which holds history from 100 years and before. It is a place, which still holds its original essence and has not changed much with the course of time. People still follow their old customs and traditions religiously, and many of the locals here still make their living by wood crafting.
History of Bungamati Village
The history of this place dates back from the Licchavi dynasty when King Amshuverma found Bungamati in 605. The first record of this place as found from the stele in that same time period, which consisted of the earliest mention of the Kailashkut Bhawan palace. Along with that the stale also shows that Bungamati village was famous for agriculture, fishing, animal rearing etc.
This village was known as “Bugayumi” in Licchavi dynasty, which was further changed and was called as “Bungapattan” during the Malla regime. This place is the birthplace of Rato Machhendranath, who is regarded as the protector of the valley. This deity doesn't stay at one place, the large Shikhara-style temple located in the center of the village in which the deity says for six months and the rest of the time he spends in Patan. And, the entire procedure of moving the god from one place to another is considered one of the most sacred and important festivals within the valley.
The Machhendranath temple
One of the major attractions of this place is the Machhendranath temple, which is located in the heart of the village. The village knows the lord by the name of “Bungadeya”. This name is derived from the after the village was found at the spot where Bhairav howled “bu” or “bungaa” which means watering place or spring. Machhendranath is also known by the name “Karunamaya” which means a body of love and kindness like a mother figure. Along with that, the lord is also called as “Rakta Padmapani” “Lokeshvara” and “Arya Avalokiteshvara.”
Attractions around Bungamati
The crossroads around the valley is also considered to be one of the most beautiful places within the valley as from here one can see the main functioning of the Newari town. Along with that, there is Karya Binayak temple, which is considered to be one of the most important temples of Nepal. The view from this temple is really spellbinding and peaceful. The temple stands tall in the middle of the trees and bamboo. The people of this place are lead to a very simple and cultural life. Their way of living hasn't shown many signs of modernization. The people of this place have been following the trails of their forefathers, keeping the culture, art form, language, and writings as it was earlier. The Newars of this region are very rich when I come to the cultural values and following traditions.
This place holds a very raw and pure image of the place and the people living in them. Most of the people living crafts wood or trade in the same way as their ancestors did.
After the hazardous earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, most of the temples got destroyed, the houses made in a traditional Nepali format also were destructed and any people lost their lives in that present time. Reconstruction work has been seen much in this region and hope, it will be completed soon.