Main Editor: Manik Bajracharya
Bungadyo, also known as Rāto Matsyendranātha, is a popular deity in the Kathmandu Valley, and certainly the most revered one in the city of Patan. Worshipped by the Buddhists and Hindus alike, the deity is celebrated annually by the inhabitants of Patan with a month-long chariot procession (ratha-jātrā) just before the beginning of rainy season. The deity is enshrined in the twin temples at Bungamati and Patan when the deity is not in the chariot. Chronicles attribute the inauguration of the chariot festival to the twelfth century king Narendradeva. This fascinating festival involves people from every strata of society.
The case regarding overseership of the Luthāma Guṭha of Bungadyo
Luthāma Guṭha, variously spelled as Lusā Guthi, Lusāhāpau Guthi, or Lhusā Guthi, was established by Jīvarāja Bāḍā (Śākya) of Oku Bāhāla in the early seventeenth century. The guṭha maintains the panels, provides for transporting and fitting the panels to the Bungadyo chariot each year, and manages storage of the dismantled panels throughout the year after the festival is over. Following documents relate to a legal dispute that arose in 1802 over the overseership of the guṭha.
E_2253_0015E: A scribal note reporting confirmation to Patan’s amālī of the original sponsor of the Luthāma Guṭha and the queen regent's order to restore control over it to one of his descendants through a bahālī [VS 1860]
E_2254_0001H: A copy of an executive order from Cautariyā Amara Siṃha Śāha directing judicial officers of Patan to come to a decision regarding the rightful claimant to the crop yields from plots belonging to the Luthāma Guṭhī (VS 1860)
E_2254_0001G: A copy of an executive order of Queen Rājarājeśvarī Devī directing judicial officials of Patan to come to a decision regarding the rightful owner of crop yields from plots belonging to the Luthāma Guṭhī (VS 1860)
E_2254_0001F: A copy of a letter from Ḍiṭṭhā Bhāgīrāma of Patan recommending that its unnamed recipient decide in favour of Rāmānanda regarding ownership of the harvest on land belonging to the Luthāma Guṭhī