Chobar Tourist Attractions
The village of Chobar is situated west of Patan above the legendary Chobar Gorge, which Bodhisattva Manjushri is said to have cut in the rocks with a sword, so draining the Kathmandu Valley. Built on a ridge the village can be reached only on foot.
The picturesque Chobar Gorge is spanned by a small suspension bridge, ordered by the Ranas from a manufacturer in Aberdeen (Scotland) in 1903. The bridge had to be transported piecemeal across the mountains from India before being put in place, something of a technical miracle at the time. The rocky cliffs of the gorge are pierced with caves, ideal retreats for meditation. An underground passage is reputed to run from the caves via a subterranean lake to the Adinath Lokeshwar Temple in Chobar. On the south side of the gorge the bank of the Bagmati River has been paved to make ghats, steps used for ritual ablutions and cremation. People also come to the ghats to wash and launder clothes while buffalo bathe near by.
The Chobar Gorge provides a dramatic backcloth to the Jal Vinayaka Mandir, one of the Kathmandu Valley's principal shrines to Ganesh. The three-storied pagoda was built in 1602, though the site has been in use for much longer. The upper roof struts have carvings of the eight Bhairavas and the eight Ashta Matrikas. Ganesh appears on the level below, flanked by beautiful female figures; beneath them are some little erotic carvings. On the platform of the temple are figures of Shiva and Parvati (Uma Maheshwar) dating from the 12th c. The image is simply a rock, on which a crown is placed on certain weekdays. Prayers to Ganesh are mainly for wisdom and fertility. Those seeking special blessing come on 21 consecutive Tuesdays bearing a total of 1000 red mulas (a kind of radish) and 1000 ladoos (Ganesh's favorite sweet). This combination of sweet and sour is thought most likely to succeed with the god.In front of the temple stands a column with the statue of a rat, Ganesh's bearer. He too is shown bringing ladoo for the deity. Either side of the statue are bells which, as an inscription explains, were cast with the aid of the first sack of cement produced by the neighboring cement factory. Built with German aid the factory has brought terrible environmental pollution as well as being completely out of keeping with this historic and culturally important site.
The area around Chobar offers some natural attractions.
The myriad snakes which legend says lived in the depths of the lake filling the Kathmandu Valley, were washed away with the water. Manjushri asked Kartotak the snake king to remain in the Valley to watch over its fertility and prosperity, putting an underwater palace in Taudaha Lake at his disposal. Though the lake is hardly bigger than a pond it is of considerable depth. Here Kartotak lives undisturbed in his golden palace with diamond windows and jeweled columns. The snakes have shining jewels attached to their heads to illuminate their watery domain.
Beyond Taudaha Lake rises Champa Devi, a 2278 m (7476 ft)-high peak in the Chandragiri range. Also known as Dinacho, meaning "place of meditation", it is a minor pilgrimage site marked by a small stupa and a Hindu shrine to the Champa Devi Mai (mother goddess). The 45 minute walk to the summit is rewarded with fine views of the Himalayan peaks away to the north.