Thimi is the fourth largest town in Kathmandu Valley and is situated in between Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. The Kings of Bhaktapur often called this city as ‘Chhemi’ which means ‘capable people’, thus praising the people of Thimi for their constant and loyal support towards Bhaktapur. The town is a large producer of pottery and masks. With a population of nearly 84,000 people, the city is filled with Newari culture and traditions. Thimi is elevated and one must climb up the valley in order to reach the city. The city was originally known as Madhyapur which translates it to ‘middle place’ which is now more often used than Thimi.
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Culture and Festivals
1. Pottery Thimi is famous for its pottery art. Chapacho, Nasanani, Tulanani, Pacho and Digutole are some of the famous pottery squares in Thimi.
2. Bisket Jatra Bisket Jatra is celebrated every year in the mid-April to signify an end of the year and the beginning of a new year according to the calendars of Bikram Samvet. This festival is celebrated in many parts of Bhaktapur in different ways with different rituals. In this event, hundreds of people pull a chariot which consists of Lord Bhairav’s statue or there will be a number of chariots which carries Devthas (God) in them and the chariots are circulated among the youngsters. Nearly 32 chariots are circulated every year. In Bhaktapur Tamadhi, a tug of war is conducted between the upper and lower part of the city, that is, Thane and Kone.
3. Sindhur Jatra In this festival, people from different parts of Thimi gather and throw coloured powders at each other while listening to Dhimay music.
4. Neelbarahi Naach This is a famous dance festival held every year in Bode. People wear various masks and dance to spiritual music. Masked people are not allowed to talk, eat or even drink water.
5. Layaku Bhaila Naach This festival is performed in the month of August. The number of people taking part in this dance festival will be 5, which includes 4 youths and one child. Two out of the four youths wear masks of Lord Bhairab and the other two youths wear the masks of Daagi. The child will be a Jyapuga. The five people dance to a piece of spiritual music. Once they are done dancing, the youths start shivering and lose their sense. According to the dancers, it feels like the god himself is asking them to dance more and more. They will not be aware of what will be happening. The four youth dancers who are dancing, get hypnotised when they hear the sound of Daaga Baja, Bhusya Baja and Ponga Baja.
6. Tongue piercing ceremony Thimi holds a tongue piercing ceremony where a person’s tongue is pierced by a 13-inch iron spike and he is told to walk around the city for the whole day. Many people walk around the city with the person with the pierced tongue. In the end, the person (whose tongue is pierced) must give a feast party to the ones who walked around the city with him. The legend behind this festival is that back in the days, there were man-eating demons in Thimi. The people were so haunted by these demons that they could not even walk around in the streets in the daylight. The people in the town one day requested the king to help them. The King immediately ordered the guards to catch the demons and punish them in front of Lord Bhairab. Once the demons were caught, their tounges were bored and they were made to carry 108 Dhani on their shoulders and walk around the city. Hence, this festival is celebrated even now to remind that people will be punished if they cause any trouble to other people or the country.
Places to see
Thimi is a historical city with many ancient temples. The people of Kathmandu Valley worship four Ganeshas, four Kali goddess, four Kumari goddess, four Gangas, four Mahalakshmi and four Varahi.
The Lokeshwar temple and Vishnu temple must be visited for the way it has been built.
The Bairabh temple is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The golden statue of this temple was stolen in 2015 and never returned.
The Siddhakali temple is the most popular and well-maintained temple in Thimi which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
How To Reach Thimi
Located only 4 kilometres from Bhaktapur and 12 kilometres from Kathmandu, the best and easiest way to get to Thimi is by hopping on to any of the minibuses from Kathmandu Valley. You can also get there by taxi but they usually charge around 600-1000 NPR.