Taleju Bhawani : Malla’s Clan Goddess
One of the sacred goddess of Mallas, Taleju bhawani, which is situated in all the three districts of Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.
The royal temple of goddess Taleju in Bhaktapur however is the oldest among the three. Tulaja Bhawani came there from Tulajapur Karanataka, India. Initially the nature was considered as the God or Supreme power but later on Taleju Bhawani was claimed as the clan goddess of Malla Kings. This is all because of faith towards the Taleju Bhawani.
The temple is one-storeyed. The artworks found in the temple are regarded among best in Nepal. The temple square consists of two shrines for two female deities, Taleju Bhawani and Kumari. The temple of Taleju has always been one of Bhaktapur’s most sacred spots, traditionally closed to all but the reigning kings. The Taleju temple stands in the Mulchok Court. At present, only Hindus are allowed to go inside the temple and the goddess cannot be photographed.
The main entrance door that leads to temple square is beautifully sculpted and so are the inside of the temples. Inside the temple, window, doors, struts are carved with images of various female deities. It is said that King Bhupatindra Malla himself carved one of the window. The square consists of two stone pillars, a four feet plinth, and a bell hanged in stone pillars. There are numerous doors on each four side and each door has sculpture of kalash, conch and eye on two adjacent sides. One of the door leads to a pond which is source of water for Naghpokhari “the royal bath”. One Thing is interesting about Taleju Bhawani Temple that is the square area in its middle. It is believed that the square is almost exactly equal to one rapani of area. People haven’t measured yet but the belief is still there.
The locals are renovating Taleju Bhawani Temple. It is in the condition of break down so the local Shilpakar(the masters of wood carving) are doing their best to renovate the temple. This temple is the representation of scientific belief in culture. At the beginning Suwal were claimed as the cook of God, but nowadays they are acclaimed as the farmers. From this point of view also we can say that there was no caste difference in that period. Cultural Expert Tejeshwor Babu Gwanga says, “a body with soul is corpse and body with soul is Shiva”. He means that the culture is the best way of reperesentation of human life and artifacts. He even says that culture is related to environment which infact related to life style and related to concept. This concept is that the society then was not a society of discrimination as caste and class where we can observe transparently in the attitude of Malla Kings while building many cultural artifacts all around Kathmandu Valley.
Culture has two dimensions says scholar Gwanga, cultural traditionalism and cultural dynamism. These two aspects make up cultural symbols and beliefs. Both are needed to live a better life by not forgetting ones cultural values. So Taleju bhawani is also the representation of both cultural aspects. So, Taleju Bhawani carries great symbol to it.