Babina Sapkota: Kirtipur Ashoka Stupa or Chilancho Vihar (Jagat Pal Maha Vihar)
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Friday, 5 October 2018

Kirtipur Ashoka Stupa or Chilancho Vihar (Jagat Pal Maha Vihar)

This monastery is situated on the eastern side of Kirtipur. In Newar language, the word Chilan means immortal and the word Cho means Hill. Therefore, its literal meaning is the immortal god situated on the hill. The stupa  is about  9.0-10.5 high on a quadrangular base. On all four sides there are small chaityas. The dome is plastered white.



  The local people call this monastery as Chilancho Baha: but it is described as Jagatpal Maha Vihar in the historical records.  The people of Patan and Kathmandu call this monastery as Kyapu: Baha:. It was turned into a monastery in 1515 by Jagatpal varma, who used to live at Pim Bahal of Patan, and who was very powerful during the regime of King Ratna Malla of Kathmandu. But the Chaitya is thought to have been built by Samrat Ashok of India. According to the chronicle used by Daniel Wright, who wrote the History of Nepal hundred years ago. When Samrat Ashok came to Kathmandu, he established a Stupa also at Kirtipur. There is a house of a guthi for Vajracharyas which is known as Agan-Chhen, the inner sanctum or sacred room maintained by Buddhist Tantric worshippers and in which there is a statue of Buddha. There are also some small Chaityas around the monastery, which is situated on the top of the area. 

The Vajracharyas, newar Priests, live around this monastery. Archaeologists believe the Chaityas of this Vihar to be different from the Chaityas of other places, and, in their view, they possess greater importance from the archaeological point of view. People of that place celebrate a festival realted with the Vihar on the night of Ashwin Purnima, the full moon night of the month of September. In his Sketches From Nepal, foreign scholar H.Ambrose Old Field has described the Chaitya in this way:
 "In this south-eastern quarter of the city, there is a Buddhist Temple, called Chillandeo, which, though comparatively small, yet on account of the number of sculputered objects of Buddhist worship which it exhibits and the accuracy with which the various deities and their respective symbols and vehicles are figured, is one of the most perfect and valuable monuments of Buddhism in the whole valley."


Near the Chaitya, there are stone images of Khadga Vir and Vajra Vir, two elephants, one Dharma Dhatu mandal of Nepal era 789 and the other big bell dated Nepal era 876. Aaround this Chaitya there are some deities – Vairochana, Achyovya, Padmapani Lokeshwara, tara Devi-4, Ratna Sambhava Amitabha and Amogha Siddhi.


The Article written above is cited from a blog by Promise Maharjan. This article was published on August of 2016 in his own blog. The link of the original article is given below. I cited this article on 5th August 2018. 
 https://memorableplace-kirtipur.blogspot.com/2016/08/kirtipur-ashoka-stupa-or-chilancho.html

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