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The stories behind the places

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Image via Siraj Ahmad

Every place got its name for some reason. There is always a story behind that present generation may not know, so we asked KMAG followers to share the story behind the name of their place. We got the following stories, which may or may not be true but sounds convincing.

Birtamod

It used to be the turning for going towards Birta Bazaar, so people started calling it Birta Jane Mod , turning point to Birta Bazaar, giving birth to the name Birtamod.

Chobhar

Its name came from the bahals (Bahal is a type of courtyard found amongst Newar communities in Nepal.) surrounding the Lokeshwor Adinath Temple at the top of the hill. In Newa language, bahals at the top is called “chwaye bahal’. So, the original name of is Chwaye Bahal, that people later mispronounced and called Chobhar.

Ghattekulo

There used to be a water mill down there. Hence, people started calling it Ghattekulo.

Battisputali

There were 32 stone statue of butterflies (angels) placed inside the inner walls of Ram Mandir, which led to the place being called Battisputali.

Babarmahal

There was the palace of Babar Shamsher there, so people started calling the place Babarmahal.

Lalbandi

This place was previously terrorized by a robber named “Lale,”and he was captured and kept inside the jungle. Later, when people had to go to that place, they started referring to it as “Tyo Lale bandi bhako thau” (the place lale was captured), which later changed to Lalbandi as the short term.

Maitighar

This place got its name changed from its original one because of a huge poster of the film “maitighar” being placed there. It caused the people to call the place as Maitighar itself.

Baglung

There are multiple stories to this place.

  1. In Sanskrit language, “Vyagra” meant “Baagh” and “Lunatiti” meant “Luna”, which is defined as cutting/chopping. At one point in history, this place was full of dangerous tigers (Baagh), which was terrorizing the lives of people living there. So, a group of strong Magar men from the community started killing the tigers to keep the place safe. Since the intention was to clear the place of tigers, the name of the place became “Vyagra Luna” which later mispronounced to “Baglung”
  2. “Bagh” is also a common word in Khas language and “Lung” means a line. Since there were many tigers walking around in the areas in lines, the place got named “Baghlung” which later was mispronounced to “Baglung”
  3. In Magar language, “Wag” means high lands while “Lung” means flat spaces. If we look at the geographical space of Baglung, it has some high hills and some flat spaces. Hence, the word “Baglung” may refer to high and flat spaces combined.

Ghorahi

The name for this place was initially “ghodhai” because of the large amount of horses found there. Later, with the passage of time, it became known as Ghorahi.

Bajhapatan, Pokhara

Some 20 years earlier, before Seti Gandaki Hydro Project, the land was barren and nothing except Ground Nuts used to grow there. Hence Barren = “Bajho” which later changed to Bajha and the name of the place became Bajhapatan.

Mangalbare, Jhapa

The place was named Mangalbare after the weekly market, which used to happen every Tuesday (Mangalbaar).

Chipledhunga, Pokhara

A huge stone lies on the main bazar, which used to be very slippery. Hence the name was derived of “Chiple” (Slippery) and Stone “Dhunga”.

Tamghas, Gulmi

At one point in history, on top of Arjun Daada, there was a palace of a really cruel king. He used to rule his people with extreme taxation and rules such as sending the first harvest to the king — a part of everything like meat, alcohol etc were to be given to the king before the people could eat it. Not only that, he made it mandatory for newly wed brides to spend their first night at his palace. The rule was not limited to his citizens only, but to every wedding party that passed in the way.

One day, a Brahman from Dhurkot was passing with his wedding party (janti) and newly wed wife from the same way, where he was ordered to send his new bride to the palace. He obliged and took his wedding party to stay the night at the foothills of Arjun Daada, which is currently known as Sota Deurali. But, his bride was suspicious of the intentions of the king, so she collected some cow dung and made two “kundas”, filled one with cow milk and another kunda with Resunga’s water. There, she proclaimed that “If anything happens in the palace with me that compromises my truthfulness or character, I will die and these kundas will be filled with blood. If nothing happens, I shall return and the kunda will have milk and water only.” Saying that, she left for the palace.

Next morning, both the kundas were filled with blood. The wedding party called the locals and showed them the kundas, asking what’s happened there. The locals went to the palace to search for the bride, and found her dead. Upon asking the security guards of the palace, they were informed that the bride had put some curse on both the oppressive king and his people who were allowing him to oppress them before she died. That message was relayed by the locals to the wedding party and the Brahmin. Upon learning that his bride was no more, the Brahmin also cursed the king and his followers by saying ” From now on, no one who lives here or rules here shall ever be able to drink milk in the morning, the Thakuri kings who ruled here will have all there heredity destroyed, no one who rears horses here shall prosper” and he also died. The wedding party and the locals could only watch the “tamasha” of him dying, without being able to do much.

The locals realized the atrocities of the king had been done to their wives also, who could only stay silent in his fear. That angered the locals and they killed the king. Since kings were considered a reincarnation of lord Vishnu, when the news was spread to other kingdoms, it was called as a “tamasha” that happened.

That day on, the place became known as “tamasha”, which later was mispronounced to “Tamash” and now is called “Tamghas”

Till date, there are two temples: one where the bride died at Arjun Daada and another at the place the groom died. To avoid the curse of the bride and the groom, to this day, newly wed couples worship in the temples.

Jomsom

Jomsom comes from two words: “Dzong” meaning fort and “Sampa” meaning new. From mispronounciation, it later became known as Jomsom.

Aathrai, Tehrathum

Long ago, eight powerful Rai Kings used to rule the place. Aath = Eight, Aathrai. Although the majority of population there is of Limbus, the name has stuck at Aathari.

Baneshwor

Name came from historic temple of “Badeshwor Mahadev” located in the area, that the area later be called Baneshwor.

Dillibazar

Dillibazar was named after Dilli Jung Thapa, the engineer who designed Charkhal Adda, which is also the state penitentiary.

Sinamangal

Everyone knows that after Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded Kathmandu, he cut the nose of most (or all) who fought in the Malla army. The site where he did was Sinamangal, present day Pepsicola area now known as Purano Sinamangal. “Sinaya” in Newari means nose. They also erected a temple to worship the god of nose, apparently.

PN Shah also gave lands to his entourage who followed him from Gorkha, mostly Brahmin cooks and errand force, at what is now the western side of TIA. That area along with the present day Airport was called “Gauchar” because after the war for unification, those settlers adopted cow herding as their profession and the present day airport had lush greenery to provide fodder for cows.

Eventually century later when the Airport was built there, those people living on the lands occupying present day airport were given lands at the present day Sinamangal (also robbing cows from their fodder), areas around Kathmandu medical College to Bhatkeko pul and hence airport separated old and new Sinamangal.

Banepa

Some of the ancient names of Banepa were Banepur, Baniyapur, Banipur . As it had trade relationship with Tibet from ancient period, Banepa is also known as “Bhont”, “Bhonta”, “Bhon dey(भोंदेय्)”. Banepa is the combination of two words i.e. “Bane” means ‘Business’ and “Pa” means ‘Place’. Therefore, “Banepa” means ‘Place of Business’.

Hallanchowk, Lakeside

People who owned land there sold it in a cheap price and they spent the money to drink alcohol. After that, they used to walk around the area while drunk, fumbling and high. So, that junction was given name ‘Hallan chowk’

Kavrepalanchok

This place was named as the junction of two hills: Kavre hill and Palanchowk hill.

Gothatar

There was a palace of Jagat Jung Rana (son of Junga bahadur) and he had a big cow shed (goth) there in a rice field (taar), so it was called Gothatar.

Sunargaon

Sunars(goldsmiths) lived here in the village (gaun) hence the name Sunargaon!

Katari

Katari is the name of a weapon used to cut wood/ wood log for furniture purpose. Two rivers “Tara” and “Kakaru” pass by the place, which give the shape of weapon “katari”, hence the name.

Chhetrapati

This place was initially called Chhatrapati after the umbrella (chatra) shaped “paati” present there. Later, chhatrapati became mispronounced to Chhetrapati.

Manik Path, Dharan

A kind-hearted person named Manik Shrestha donated most of his private land to make path for main road. So, to honor and acknowledge his contribution, members of community welfare named it as ‘Manik Path.’

Nuwakot

In between Trishuli river and Taadi River, there used to be 9 forts (kots) in the 9 hills, namely Dhaibungkot, Dhadingkot, Ramkot, Firkepkot, Salyankot, Bhairabkot, Malakot, Belkot and Simalkot. A new fort was created at the center of all these forts, which led to its name being “Nawa kot”, i.e. new fort, which was later mispronounced as Nuwakot.

Dhobikhola

The river’s actual name is Rudramati, but because dhobis (people who used to do laundry) used the riverbank for laundry work, so the river was named as “Dhobikhola”

Gorkha

The name Gorkha comes from “Gau” (Cow) + rakha (Rakshak), i.e. protector of the cows. It is believed that Lord Shiva in the form of Lord Gorakhnath himself trained Prithvi Narayan Shah and his army to protect cows, hence the name.

Chitwan

There are several theories on the origin of the name Chitwan:

  • 1. The name Chitwan is a composite of the Sanskrit words चित्त, transliterated “citta” meaning heart, and वन, transliterated “vana” meaning jungle or forest. Thus, the meaning of Chitwan is Heart of the Jungle.
  • 2. Chitwan was a dense forest ruled by the Tharu God-King Chitrasen Baba, thought to an incarnation of Vishnu. Today, the Tharu worship his idol during HariBodhini Ekadashi in Chitrasari en route to the village of Sauraha. Ban (वन) is the local word for a forest, according to this theory, the area was called Chitra Ban (Chitrasen’s forest) which then became Chitwan.
  • 3. The Chitwan forests were populated by leopards and Bengal tigers and, since the Tharu term for a leopard is Chitra, the area became Chitwan.

Disclaimer: The above information is collected from KMAG community. All of them may or may not hold the truth. If there is any false information or alternative story on any place listed above, please write us at connect@kmagz.com. You can as well send us stories on more places that we have missed out in this article, so that we can add them in the list.

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Knowledge & Infos

What’s Special Today: November 10

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Chhath:

Historically native to the Indian states of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and the southern part of Nepal, Chhath is one of those festivals that transcends the caste system that exists in the society. According to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartik. The Chhath Puja is a 4-day long ritual specially offered to the solar deity, Surya, to show thankfulness for good health, good life and to request the granting of some certain wishes.

Day 1: On the first day, the devotees after bathing clean their house and eat the food that is offered to the god to protect the mind from the vengeful tendency.

Day 2: On the second day, the devotees are not allowed to drink even a single drop of water but, in the evening, they eat kheer made up of jaggery, fruits.

Day 3: The evening of the third day which is also known as sandhya ‘arghya’ day where a bamboo basket is decorated with various puja materials, fruits, thekuwa, and laddus which are offered as an ‘argya’ to the Sun. Also, the Chhathi Maiya is worshipped.

Day 4: On the last day of Chhath puja again an arghya is offered to the Sun God but this time in the morning. The devotees go to the riverbank to offer arghya to the rising sun and break their fast and conclude their four-day long worship.

Happy Chhath to everyone! Don’t forget to enjoy some thekuwas!!

World Keratoconus Day:

Every year on November 10, World Keratoconus Day is celebrated to focus global attention on keratoconus and ectatic corneal disorders. The day was first celebrated by National Keratoconus Foundation.

Keratoconus is a disease that causes the cornea to become weak, leading to the thinning and stretching of the cornea, which may result in the loss of vision. Keratoconus is degeneration of the structure of the cornea. The shape of the cornea slowly changes from the normal round shape to a cone shape which affects the vision. The keratoconus mainly develops in teenagers and young adults and the disease keeps on growing, if not diagnosed in time.  

The disease has no prevention and no treatment. With early diagnosis, the disease can be managed and further damage can be protected. In Nepal, the prevalence of Keratoconus is 1 in 2000 according to the recent journal. So, this world keratoconus day, make a commitment to visit an eye doctor once a year for the early diagnosis of keratoconus as well as other eye diseases.

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Knowledge & Infos

Best and Worst Bank in Nepal as per our survey

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We had conducted an online survey to find out how banking services in Nepal are being used and perceived by their users. This article is entirely based on those responses. Thank you Muktinath Bikash Bank for supporting us in conducting this survey.  

Over the years, Banks have become an integral part of our daily life and economy. With the shift to digitalization and modernization of the economy, banks have definitely made life easier for people to manage their cash and transactions. With these shifts and increasing dependency on banks more than ever, the use of banking services and users’ banking experience is one of the topics with the minimal amount of research done. Out of curiosity, we conducted an online survey to find out how people have been feeling about the banking services provided by the respective banks.

About Respondents

Respondents were mostly urban educated youth with access to the internet, in the age bracket of 18-40, mostly being from 22-26 age group. The data was collected through social media users, primarily from page followers of KMAG. In total, we got 219 responses out of which 160 were males and 59 were females. 

In the list of questionnaires, one of the questions was “which is your favorite bank from Nepal as per your own experience,” and another being “which bank do you think is the worst.” Among 219, 27 respondents were undecided and 192 casted their votes for “best” and the “worst.” To build the conclusion on more strong foundation, we wanted to make sure respondents voice their opinion per their experience for which we had also asked them to reveal their primary bank.

Out of the total participants, a majority of 89.6% have multiple bank accounts though 19.5% of them just use one of those accounts. The remaining 10.4% claimed to have an only bank account. Out of all those banks, Nabil Bank is the primary bank for 36 participants (which was the highest no. of primary account holders in a particular bank). After Nabil, most of them were primary users of NIC Asia, Global IME, and Siddhartha Bank.

Nabil is voted as “Favorite Bank”

Nabil Bank seems to be the most favorite and popular among the respondents. With a total of 45 votes, it was voted the “most liked” bank. Among them, 29 were the primary account holders of the bank. Under “least liked,” it only got 4 votes.

To briefly talk about Nabil Bank, Nabil Bank is an ‘A’ class commercial bank which was founded in 1984 A.D. (2041 B.S.). It was established as Nepal’s first private sector bank incepted by multinational investors with the objective of providing modern, international-standard financial services. It was first established as Nepal Arab Bank Limited. In 1995, Dubai-government owned the majority of shares was bought by Binod Chaudhary.

NIC Asia is “least favourite”

With 76 votes for “worst bank,” NIC Asia seems like the “least liked” bank from Nepal as per the responses. Interestingly though, it has also been voted as “favorite bank” by 17 respondents.

After NIC Asia, Nepal Investment Bank seems like the second “least favorite” bank from Nepal with 23 votes against the bank.

On being asked the reason for disliking the bank, most of the participants seem to agree on the same point and that is “terrible” customer service of the bank. Similarly, other reasons were bad internet/mobile banking facilities, fraud-like business practices, and lack of important banking services/products being provided by the. Not to forget few were unhappy about the lack of branch/ATM services.

The detailed data are presented in the table below:

BanksPrimary AccountLikedDisliked
Nabil Bank36454
Global IME Bank251710
NIC Asia Bank291776
Siddhartha Bank16147
Sanima Bank13112
Laxmi Bank12101
Mega Bank10102
Standard Chartered Bank982
NMB Bank677
Bank of Kathmandu561
Machhapuchchhre Bank765
Himalayan Bank759
Sunrise Bank752
Muktinath Bikash Bank442
Century Commercial Bank330
Civil Bank433
Everest bank2310
Kamana Sewa Bikas Bank 131
Prabhu Bank Limited838
Rastriya Banijya Bank339
Agriculture Development Bank222
Citizens Bank 521
Kumari Bank321
Nepal Bangladesh Bank222
Nepal Bank325
Nepal Investment Bank15223
Garima Bikash Bank210
Nepal SBI Bank 2111
NCC Bank112
Prime Commercial Bank712
Manakamana Development Bank001
Shangri-la Development Bank100

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Knowledge & Infos

How to design a survey questionnaire

This article was originally designed for KMAG Online Writing Workshop and made available to public for knowledge-sharing purpose.

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A survey is a list of questions aimed at extracting specific data from a particular group of people so that the surveyor can gain knowledge and insights into various topics of interest and then mostly generalize the result. How to design a survey questionnaire completely depends upon the purpose behind the survey. Depending on the purpose, questions are framed.

Let’s understand this way, surveyor seeks to know anything based on either of the following grounds:

  1. They don’t know anything, they are curious to find out, and they seek for answers. Example: I don’t know many people smoke and I want to find out by asking everyone out there.
  2. They think they know but they are not sure and they want to find out if what they think they know is actually true or false. Example: I think 50% of Nepalese do smoke but I am not sure yet and I want to validate my assumption by surveying.
  3. They strongly believe that what they know is the facts and now they want to interpret the world based on the “facts” they live by. Example: I strongly believe that smoking is bad and raising tax and making it expensive is the way to discourage people to smoke. I want to survey to find out how many Nepalese believe the same and agree with raising taxes and making it expensive would discouarge people to smoke.

Whatever grounds you are holding, you must frame your questionnaire according to that. So before working on the questionnaire ask yourself if you are trying to know the unknown or are you trying to validate or crosscheck what you think you know or you are trying to pass judgment or views based on your preset theory/hypothesis that your understanding is based upon.

This is how it goes:

You already have a theory and you want to analyze people based on the theory.

Let’s take for example “Job satisfaction Survey.” In this case, as per your theory/hypothesis, to be called “satisfied” one must be displaying so and so traits and views; if not, the person is not satisfied in his/her job. Based on that, you will be designing a questionnaire and see how many people meet the criteria to pass your judgment. If your theory says, highly satisfied people have flexible working hours, one of your questions will be something like “Can you come to your office at whatever time you want and can leave per your own wish as long as you are doing what you are paid for? Yes/No/Depends.” Likewise, there will be other questions set in a fashion to funnel your judgment regarding what percentage of people are satisfied with their job and work.

You have a theory or hypothesis that you want to validate or crosscheck

In this case, you have an assumption but you are not sure of and you want to crosscheck or validate by testing it on people. For example let’s say you think “Most arranged marriage people are unhappy,” and you want to validate your claim or crosscheck the truth in it by surveying among arranged marriage couples. Your questions will be something like “If you have to rate your marriage in terms of joy and happiness in it, how much will you rate on a 1 to 10 scale?” followed by questions like “if you have a time machine, would you go back right before the marriage and take your time to find out someone to have a love marriage? Yes/No/Maybe”

You don’t have any theory or hypothesis and you are only to find out unseen/unknown reality

In this case, you don’t have any preconceived thoughts or assumptions and you are plainly trying to learn or find out in an open-minded fashion.  Like for example, You don’t know how many educated youth from Nepal actually do smoke, nor you know why they smoke despite its negative effect and you are set out to find out the answer by surveying. In such surveys, your questions will be like “do you smoke? Yes/No. “If you smoke, how many cigarettes do you smoke per day?” “despite its negative effect, why do you still smoke?”etc.

Sometimes, you can have a mixed approach, wherein the topic of your interest that you are surveying on, part of it is something you strongly believe being fact, part of it is something you are unsure about, and part of it is something you don’t know a thing about and you are willing to learn.  Like for example, you strongly believe happy couples display so and so traits, and you think couples from love marriages are happier but you are not sure of, and you don’t know at all if personal happiness is valued more in marriage or responsibilities and social factors in the context of Nepal. So part of your questionnaires will be driven by your theory that you consider as being fact, part of it will be intended to cross-verify your assumption, and part of it will be purely seeking truth as it is without any deliberate attempt to frame your assumption.

Bottom line, you should know your ground, the purpose of surveying, what you intend to do afterward, based on which you should be working on your questionnaires.  Your questionnaires will be designed according to your intention, so there is no hard and fast rule but make sure, in the end, you gather all the relevant information so put together to build a conclusion and for that, you need to think about what all needs to be asked to fill up the blocks and connect the dots.

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