hen you make your way towards Thamel, you will pass the Thamel Bahal which consists of three temples. The entrance into the temple complex area is guarded by stone griffins. The bahal is painted red during Dasain, the main festival of the Nepales people, and the goddess Durga is worshipped for her victory over Mahisasur, a demon. A large shopping arcade follows after the Thamel Bahal. On the opposite street stands the Immigration Office and on entering the right side of the road you will encounter the Bhagwan Bahal.
The Bahal was constucted to celebrate the victory of Bhagwan Bal over the demons. According to the legends, Bhagwan Bal was a highly respected man who had divine powers. He was also rich and often traveled to Tibet to further his religious knowledge and expand trade relations with the Tibetans. During one of his travels, he saw a strang dream. At that time, the route he was traveling was under the power of some demons. Interperting the dream as a warning, he told his traveling conpanions that it was not safe for them to stay in the place any longer. A discussion arose as some of the travellers did not believe his story. Then finally after agreeing reluctantly to Bhagwan Bal's suggestion they saw a white horse which carried them away. The men were warned not to glance back. On reaching a stream they were met by a group of beautiful womwn. While they were crossing the stream, the women begged the men not to leave. On hearing their plaintive voices, they could not resist looking back and found to their unpleasant surprise ugly demons instead of the ladies. Except for Bhagwan Bal, all the men were devoured. On reaching the Thamel locality, Bal took refuge under the roof of a peasant's house. However, the demons entered the house through a gap between the roof and the wall and killed the peasant. Bhagwan Bal fought bravely with the demons and killed many. In the end. the demons pleaded for mercy and promised they would never harm the residents of Thamel.
Copyright 1996 by Thamel Tourism Development Committee
Webmeister: Anita Shrestha, AMAA, INC