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Thursday, July 31, 2008

1st e-News Dispatched

After much talk (that is, for almost two years), we finally have our first newsletter out. It is circulated via email to anyone who is interested, and it is in English. Less than two weeks after it went out, we already have a couple of very good responses from readers who have volunteered their time, effort and resources to help the cause of Janabahaa Society. There is no doubt whatsoever that the effort being put into the newsletter will be well worth it, as it will surely bring out many good results, both short-term and long-term.

We have plans to bring out the newsletter in Nepal Bhasa (Newari) as well, and hope to have a printed version out in the future to reach a wider audience, if we are able to find the resources to print it (not necessarily cash; contribution in kind will do just fine). Please write to if you wish to support it in any way, or if you wish to provide your ideas on where we could find support, or if you simply wish to receive it on your email.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Big Meet

Aryavalokiteswara Sarbasangh, the Janbahaa Dyo priests’ organization, convened a meeting on July 26, 2008 at the Digi Chhen to discuss three issues: (a) Shanti Hom ceremony; (b) renovation of the Janabahaa Dyo temple; and (c) reconstruction of the chariot.

At the meeting attended by several elderly priests (and younger ones too), representatives of several other organizations and groups that are directly or indirectly linked to Janabahaa or Janabahaa Dyo and many local people, it was decided that a grand Shanti Hom ceremony will be conducted to spread the message of solidarity among the Buddhist community, especially after the chariot of Janabahaa Dyo toppled over earlier this year at Ratna Park.

A seven-member temple renovation ad-hoc committee was also created to oversee the construction works of the main Janabahaa Dyo temple that is in imminent danger of further degradation, especially the wooden beams on the roof directly above Janabahaa Dyo. Discussion on chariot reconstruction was deferred to a future meeting. Click on the pictures for bigger size . Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A victim of the burgeoning population of pigeons

As usual, this devout devotee came in to Janabahaa to pay his respects to The Compassionate One this afternoon, after a particularly hard day at work. Having finally arrived at relatively quieter Janabahaa after a brisk fifty-minute walk across town, thanks to the fresh disruption in transportation services, he heaved a big sigh of relief and sat down on one of the long benches lying around… to be rewarded by a big “splat” on his head.

Rather than take the warm, whitish green blotch that just landed on his head as a sign of good luck, which many elderly people tend to do, he just asked a fellow devotee to kindly wipe it off, which she did promptly, without uttering a word. Photos by Laeta Tuladhar.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Before & After

Only nine days ago, i.e., on July 12, this is what the Digi building on the eastern side of Janabahaa above the main entrance looked like. Photo by Bijay Shrestha.

Now, after a fresh coat of paint, paid for by Janabahaa Society, this is what it looks like today. Whoever came up with the color scheme of dark maroon against brilliant white, it was a brilliant idea. Photo by Alok Tuladhar.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


The words “Janabahaa Society” looks really good when it is written in the Ranjana script. It looks even better when it is written in monogram form, known as Kutakshar in Nepal Bhasa. Thanks to Arun Siddhi Tuladhar of Wonema, Kilagal for creating this monogram. Says Arun, “Speaking strictly, one can make Kutakshar only with consonants. Vowels should not be included in Kutakshar. Hence, if one is to go by the rule, only “Janabahaa” can be made into Kutakshar, and “Society” should be written using the usual letters without joining them up.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Continued Cleaning Campaign

Since the last several weeks, youth members of Macchindra Club have dirtied their hands, literally, on Saturday mornings to help keep Janabahaa clean and more organized, with a vow to do whatever it takes to do justice to the physical and spiritual sanctity that prevailed in this ancient, sacred courtyard. Any help you can provide in this campaign will be much appreciated (you can also help in the campaign without getting your hands dirty). Please get in touch with Tirtha Dhar Tuladhar (phone: 98510-85316) or email if you would like to be involved and earn some Dharma (noun; somebody's duty to behave according to strict religious and social codes, or the righteousness earned by performing religious and social duties). Action photos and tons of blog articles/photos are available at

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Notice board, good old style

We now have our own notice board to put up important announcements of upcoming activities. We will also use this notice board to display the print version of the upcoming newsletter until we can find the resources to mass-reproduce the newsletter for wider distribution. There is an idea floating around about letting people use a portion of the notice board as advertising space so that some funds can be generated to help sustain the activities of Janabahaa Society. After all, it is only with contribution of the community that the Society can sustain its ambitious programs and activities. Any takers? Please get in touch with Tirtha Dhar Tuladhar (phone: 98510-85316) or email if you would like to help. Photo by Alok Tuladhar.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Free health camp started

Altogether 15 patients received full check-up from Dr. Matina Tuladhar today during the first free health camp organized by Janabahaa Society at its office. There were about a dozen more who wanted a quick blood pressure checkup. These numbers were much higher than what we had expected, given the fact that we had put up a notice board announcing the camp only at 8 am this morning! We have kept detailed record of all patient data so that it can possibly contribute towards a general health demographics of the local populace in the future. A special feature of this camp was that the Body Mass Index of each patient (BMI) was determined, which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. After measuring the weight and height, the patient was immediately told in which category she/he fell in – normal, overweight or obese. According to Dr. Tuladhar, the most common problem observed is of high blood pressure. It was originally planned to wrap up the camp within an hour, but due to the constant flow of patients, we could close the camp for the day only at noon. Dr. Tuladhar found this high turnout of patients very encouraging, and has lovingly (hee hee... could not resist the temptation) expressed her willingness to continue volunteering her time and expertise every Saturday for this activity, despite the limited physical resources available. Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

It was all worth it, wasn’t it?

Well, why did so many people put in so much time and effort on all those trips to Jamacho hill? The outcome is going to be something very tangible indeed – the timber that was thus collected has already been cut to size, then seasoned by immersing it – for months – in a special type of oil imported from Birgunj (which was necessary to harden the wood even more), and will finally form the weight-bearing horizontal beams on the main temple of Janabahaa Dyo. The existing beams that are rapidly disintegrating because of age will be replaced with this new wood. Here is a 3D rendering of the temple’s ground floor ceiling structure (top, side and corner views respectively) created by Juju Ratna Tuladhar of Nepal Printing Press, Teuda, Asan.


In one of the recent tea-chats at the Janabahaa Society office, no one seemed to know exactly how many wood-cutting expeditions were undertaken to Jamacho hill. Well, digital photography came up with the answer – there were a total of 7 trips – on May 31, June 14, June 20, June 24, August 9, August 10 and August 11 in 2007. I have pictures that were taken on those dates, and I think it is quite unlikely that no one managed to take pictures on any of the trips.

From what I hear, each and every single trip was a big adventure for the participants. Once you overcame the challenges posed by the soggy weather and the long drive up the winding, climbing path, you were faced with the prospect of climbing up to 100 feet up moss-ridden trees to secure the treetop with ropes…

or crawl down 100 feet through thick bush to fallen trees to harness them with ropes.

And then the chain saw would start its deafening grind, scaring off all wild animals in the vicinity that were not yet alarmed by the sudden onslaught of noisy humans in their tranquil surroundings.

Once the tree is felled, pulling it up to the road was another herculean task – thanks to the manual pulley that acted up on its own mood swings from time to time.

The best part of course was the food. No one seemed to mind that the hot dishes served had no salt, as all the salt was used as leech-repellent.

Hauling the logs up onto the trucks was by far the easiest task, as human hands were needed only to guide the lumber into place.

But then keeping the trucks on the road was a different story altogether.

Tirtha Dhar Tuladhar was probably the only person who went on all the trips.

For the scores of youths from around Janabahaa and others who went on these trips to Jamacho hill (or Raniban or Nagarjun) on the northwestern rim of Kathmandu valley to collect wood required for renovation of Janabahaa Dyo temple, it would prove to be a time they would cherish for a lifetime. For the more inspired, tales that they would tell their grandchildren one day would come out of this experience.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sizing up the trunk last year

It has been more than a year – on May 15, 2007 to be precise – that we first went to the dense forest in Jamacho hill (or Raniban or Nagarjun) on the northwestern rim of Kathmandu valley to sur the wood required for renovation of Janabahaa Dyo temple. We first went to the Narayanhivey the trees which we could cut forti palace, picked up a couple of officials from the gate, and went straight to Jamacho. Our task was to measure out the fallen Gwey Chha Sin (or Chilaune) that were pointed out to us by the officials so that we would have a rough estimate for the number of trees that needed to be cut in order to meet the requirement of the renovations.

I personally went down a 50-meter ravine and measured this fallen tree to the right, which was much more difficult than it looks. I had a hard time balancing myself on the slippery moss-covered tree trunk, and when I finally got to the far end of the tree, I was barely able to get the measuring tape all around it. Hey, how come no one took a picture of me struggling with the task I had taken on myself?

Tirtha Dhar Tuladhar (far right), Padma Dhar Tuladhar (far left) and the two officials with the reliable Pajero that took us up winding road on the hill.

Looking north (or is it west? east?) from Jamacho on the way up to the top.

Can anyone spot Janabahaa in this bird’s eye view of Kathmandu as seen from the top of Jamacho hill?

I have only myself to blame for not posting these pictures earlier. Better late than never! Coming up next: action packed pictures of the gang from Janabahaa felling the trees and hauling them up a truck… manually. Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Minister

You see him around all the time, wearing an overcoat during winter and a woolen coat in summer, always by himself. He has youthful features, and carries an air of self dignity. His big, plastic-rimmed glasses and goatee give him the looks of an academician, perhaps even that of the bourgeoisie. His is Mantri (minister), and makes a livelihood by doing odd jobs for anyone who beckons him, including that of a cleaner, helper and porter. Says Mantri, “I go and sleep near Soaltee Hotel when I am in the mood, but when I am too lazy to walk it out, I just got to a nearby restaurant, eat dal, bhat, tarkari and masu, and sleep like a log right here in Janabahaa.” As an afterthought, he adds, “If I inform my friend, he will come and pick me up in his car late at night.” Photo by Alok Tuladhar.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Membership update

· We now have a total of 103 members of Janabahaa Society, including the 9 that joined during the First Annual Meet of Janabahaa Society held on Saturday, June 28, 2008. A hearty welcome to the following new members: Manoj Manadhar (Bishalnagar), Laxman Sherstha (Dhumbarahi), Sidhartha Kumar Manadhar (Thamel), Ganga Raj Shakya (Kel Tole), Bikash Bhakta Sherstha (Indra Chok), Dipak Tuladhar (Durbar Marg), Amrit Man Tuladhar (New Road), Subarna Kesari Citrakar (Seto Durbar) and Puspa Ratna Tamrakar (Nyeta Kayganani). Anyone who is interested can become a member of the Society by paying a one-time fee of Rs. 100. Please send an email to if you are interested to sign up as a member and we will have someone collect the membership fee from you, or you can just drop in at the Society office from 2 pm to 5 pm on weekdays.