The bhasa Vamssavli (a chronicle of Nepal) records that Kirtisimha, a son of king Siddinarasimba Malla of Patan (1660 – 1661), constructed a three storied temple at svotha. This obviously refers to the three-tiered brick Radhakrishna temple in Swotha Square. The other stone Krishna temple has a withered stone inscription. What can be deciphered from this inscription mentions a certain Raghubamshi of Yatachhen. Yata from Newari language means western direction and chhen means house. The house of the Raghubamsi is referred to as Yautagriha because it is situated at the western side of the Svatha Square. It can be deducted from the above facts that after the death of king Siddinarsimha Malla, his son Sriniwas Malla (1661 – 1684 AD) became the king of Patan. As a result his half-brother Kristimha Malla left the palace and built the Yatachhen as mini-palace in Svotha. Legend has it that one Raghubamsi built a Chowk and thereafter a temple as requested by his first wife. This angered the second wife. To pacify his second wife the prince built another chowk and a temple.

The Raghubamsis, who are mainly in the buildings close to Svotha Square, have a long history. Raghubamsi, in Sanskrit means the lineage of the mythical King Raghu. Lord Ram, who is considered as an incarnation of Vishnu, and the former Malla Kings of Kathmandu Valley were considered descendents of the same Raghu clan. Several inscription of the Malla period provide evidence that the Mallas used to write Raghubamsavatar as their title. The totem (gotra in Sanskrit) of the Mallas and the Raghubamsis are the same, i.e. Manava.

The Rajopadhyayas who occupy the large western chowk are Brahmin priests. Literally, Rajopadhyaya means the preceptor of the king. Once their ancestor was a priest of the Malla kings of Patan. It is believed that they migrated from Tahmbu, Agnishal Tole (about half-kilometre southwest of Svotha) in the 18th century AD. According to a legend, one of their ancestors got an elephant as a gift from a Malla king. As he was unable to feed the elephant, he sold it and bought a house with a chowk in Svatha.

As king Sriniwas Malla, who built the Caukot Durbar of the Patan Durbar in 1974 AD. And Kirtisimha were contemporaries, their palaces are comparable. The decorative style of the downward inclined window and the latticed window (Tiki-Jhya in Newari) of the Palace and Yautagriha are distinctly similar. Inside the first courtyard of Yatachhen, there are struts icons of Lord Rama and Hanuman (the monkey god) and other carvings that glorify of the Raghu clan. Once a year the royal kumari (a living virgin goddess) of the Malla king of Patan visits the front Chowk of the site for worship to be performed by the Raghubamsis. This is indeed a unique tradition for a private house in Patan.

The large chowk of the western part of the site of the site occupied by the Rajopadhyayas is a later addition. It is entered from the side lane of the north side of the site, henceforth referred to as the North Galli. Marking the entrance to this chowk is a magnificent Corner window (kun-jhya). It is said that decorating a house with this kind of a window was only allowed to the Malla kings or very important persons of the period. In Patan, there are only three such windows. The one at the southwestern corner of the Sundari Chowk of Patan Durbar was built by king Yog Narendra Malla (1684- 1705) in 1699 AD. The inscription in the other corner window in Kopache Mangal Bazar, suggested that is was made in 1705. So a suggestion can be made that the corner window in Svotha, which does not have any inscription indicating it’s date, was made between 1690 and 1710. This also further suggests that the large chowk to which it leads was a later addition made by Kirtisimha’s descendants.


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