Contesting Place in a Post-colonial Space

(Re)colonizing Tradition

A Pedestrian Guide to a "Traditional" City

Welcome to Bhaktapur

[1] The Tea Stall at Guhepukhu

[2] Nava Durga Chitra Mandir

[3] Khauma Square

[4] Tourist Motor Park

[5] Indrani Pitha

[6]Lasku Dhwakha Gate

[7]Char Dham

[8]Cafe de Temple

[9]Batsala Temple

[10] Batsala Temple

[11] City Hall

[12] The Procession Route

[13] Pujari Math

[14] The Peacock Restaurant

[15] Sewage Collection Ponds

[16] Bhairavanath Temple

Comrade Rohit (Narayan Man Bijukchhe)

Born in 1939, Mr. Bijukchhe has been a member of the Student¹s Union, Bhaktapur Municipality, and Communist Party of Nepal. He is the chairman of the Nepal Workers and Peasants¹ Party (since 1972), and a current member of Nepal¹s parliament. Since participating in the opening of a library sponsored by the People¹s Republic of Korea, and because of his numerous visits, he has come to see North Korea as the model of democracy (Bijukchhe 1993; 1998). As he writes,

The DPRK has always advanced revolution and construction in accordance with requirements of the Juche Idea and in the interest of the people. . . . The Juche idea is a human-centered world outlook that reflects the fundamental demand of our time when the popular masses appear as the masters of the world and of their own destiny and create history and reshape their destiny in an independent and creative way (1998, 10­11).

     Even for those that disagree on ideological levels, most in Bhaktapur feel that Comrade Rohit and the Nepal Majdur Kisan Sangh have been a good force for Bhaktapur. The party has cleaned up the city, both literally and politically. For instance, one businessman who was clearly on the other end of the political spectrum said,

The communist government is best for Bhaktapur, because they can do grass roots actions [he was talking in relation to Siddhi Pokari]. Other political parties could not do this. How could a Nepali Congress Party member invite farmers (Jyapus ) over to their house?

     Most people worry, however, that once Mr. Bijukchhe retires, the local government like all the rest will become greedy and corrupt. As one artisan said,

Rohit is like the spire on top of the temple, and the party is like the temple proper‹with many connecting bolts, so that if an earthquake came it will not fall over‹and the people are like the hidden foundation. Yet, I worry about what happens after he dies. Without a spire it will all fall over.

     Yet, not everyone is in agreement. Many times‹especially if the person had been drinking‹people would whisper in my ear about how Rohit runs the city like his own little kingdom. And in other cities in the Valley, more than once people jokingly referred to the city as the People¹s Republic of Bhaktapur.


Mandala Map

Tourist Map


Tour Map

Durbar Square

Tacapa Map



Key | Bibliography | Maps

© 2001 Gregory Price Grieve , Site design by GDL Historical Laboratories. .