|Located off a little street about 200 meters north and west of the Durbar
Square in Patan, the 12th-century monastery courtyard is a hotbed of spiritual
inspiration where an unbroken tradition of Newar and Tibetan Buddhist practices
continues as it has for ages.
A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, there lived a queen named
Pingala. She was separated from the king, and so came to the Guheswari temple in
Kathmandu to pray for his return. Pleased with the lovelorn queen’s devotion,
the goddess appeared and told her to build a monastery. She did as told, and,
just as Guheswari had promised, the king came looking her. A great
reconciliation took place, and after appointing people to look after the shrine,
the couple returned home.
Years passed, the caretakers moved away, and the monastery, Pingalabaha, fell
into ruin. One day, a priest from
Patan Stumbled upon its main Buddha image
buried under the rubble. He brought it to Patan and enshrined it at Nyakha Chuka
where he lived. When the king, Bhaskar Dev, heard about what had happened, he
built a new monastery, Nhubaha, and moved the image there.
But one night, the Buddha appeared to the king in a dream, and told him that
Nhubaha wasn’t an appropriate place, and that the statue should be installed in
a temple built on a spot where a mouse drove away a cat. The king wandered
around looking for such a special place, and one day saw a gold-colored mouse
chasing a cat. Bhaskar Dev marked out the plot and built a monastery to house
the Buddha image. Thus Kwabaha founded.
This is but one of the many stories about the origins of the Golden Temple.
The tale almost comes to life in the magical atmosphere of flickering butter
lamps and extravagant sculptures, and you find your thoughts drifting back to a