The town of Bungadyo; Bungamati

Like Khokana, Bungamati is an old Newar settlement situated on the outskirts of Patan. But in terms of historical evidence, natural settlement, and religious prosperity, it is just as significant as the three largest cities in the Kathmandu Valley.

Starting with the religious prosperity of Bungamati directly links us with the main deity of that area, Bungadyo. Bungadyo may have been the name later given to the deity. In accordance with the settlement as the actual name of the deity is Machhindranath.

Here, Machhindranath ties together the narrative of a particularly significant Nepalese festival; Machhendranath Jatra which lasts for an entire month. Since the same deity spends six months of the year here, this location is also referred to as Machhendranath’s home.

Karunamaya is another name for Machhendranath in the Kathmandu valley, in addition to the name used by the locals. And, the courtyard where the temple of Karunamaya is located, contains more of the other prestigious deities which include the temple of Manakamana and Hayangriva Bhairava temple.

Given that it houses the Manakamana Mai’s upper body, it is believed that the Manakamana temple in this courtyard is the original Manakamana. While the Hayanagriva Bhairava is regarded as the primary Bhairava in the Kathmandu Valley.

There is Karyabinayak in that area in addition to these temples. One of Kathmandu Valley’s four major Ganesh temples is just a short distance downhill from the courtyard.
This temple enjoys the same level of popularity as the valley’s other three Binayak temples, Suryabinayak, Jal Binayak, and Ashok Binayak.

The historical face of Bungamati

Bungamati supported itself with one of the ancient inscriptions discovered in Nepal and all of these religious significances. King Amsuvarma (one of the powerful Lichhavi Kings), a well-known figure in Nepalese history, appears to have left an inscription there.

Kailashkuta Bhavan, the most enigmatic structure in Nepalese history, is mentioned in that exact inscription. With that in place, it is safe to say that the town was old enough to qualify as a historical city.

However, if we dig deeper and focus on the city’s name, it is claimed that the name was derived from Bugayumigrama. Since “Bugayumi” is a Kiratian dialect, it can be said that the settlement existed during the Kirati era, which preceded the Common Era.

Therefore, it could also be referred to as an ancient city as opposed to a historical town. Isn’t it?