Layaku (Royal Palace of Madhyapur Thimi)
|Development Region||Central Development Region (CDR)|
|• Mayor||Madan Sundar Shrestha|
|• Deputy Mayor||Anjana Madhikarmi|
|• Total||11.47 km2 (4.43 sq mi)|
|• Density||7,200/km2 (19,000/sq mi)|
|• Religion||Hindu, Buddhist|
|Time zone||NST (UTC+5:45)|
Madhyapur Thimi is a municipality in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. Thimi lies between Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley. It is one of the ancient, cultural and historical places along the trade route from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu. Like other old cities this city is also situated on elevated land and therefore one has to climb up to reach this city. Thimi occupies an area of 11.47 square kilometres and is administratively divided into 9 wards. In the Local Election of 2017, Madan Sundar Shrestha of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) was elected as Mayor securing 13960 Votes and Anjana Madhikarmi of Nepali Congress securing 10678 votes.
There are now indications that the city may be as old as 3000 BC. A recent work by Mohan Pant and Shuji Funo compared the very regular grid layout of Thimi to other very ancient cities in Indus valley and Nepal. The details of the grid dimensions of city blocks are very close to those of Mohenjo-daro and Sirkap (part of ruins near Taxila) in Pakistan; also Patan, Nepal. The authors found that plot dimensions measure 9.6m by 19.2m, and are very uniform. These dimensions correspond to Indus Valley civilization.
Madhypur Thimi, is situated in the center of the valley between Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Because of its position it serves as a bulwark between Bhaktapur and Patan, Kathmandu during the late malla period when there were often battles among the three kingdoms of the valley. Several legends surround the name "THIMI" and it's meaning. Legend says that because the people of Thimi so successfully defended Bhaktapur, the kings of Bhaktapur called them "CHHEMI" meaning "Capable people"- thus praising them for their loyal constant support. Gradually the name of the settlement became "Thimi". Also "Madhya" means centre and "pur" means city and therefore Madhyapur means city located in the centre. The oldest known name of the city is "Themmring". 
According to legends Lichchavi king Narendra Dev kept his youngest son Bal Dev in the palace of Madhyapur Thimi (Thimi Durbar or Layaku). Now it has been established as a government school and still today also the palace is considered to be the main place of goddess Balkumari.
Places of Interest
The people of Kathmandu valley have been worshiping four Ganesh, four Kali, four Kumari, four Varahi, four Mahalaxmi and four Ganga. Among the four Kumaris, one is Balkumari of Thimi. The temple of Balkumari is said to be about three hundred years old. Goddess Balkumari is regarded as the guardian deity of Thimi and she is the beloved goddess of Thimi. Ceremonial rituals in relation to important events of life including marriage, bratabanda etc. cannot be done without propitiating this deity.
The present three storeyed temple of goddess Balkumari was built probably around the 17th century. This temple stands in the brick-paved rectangular courtyard with rest houses around it. There is a temple of lord Bhairab and some small shrines of different gods and goddess spread around the courtyard.
Among the four Mahalaxmi of the Kathmandu valley, one is located in Bode of Madhyapur Thimi. Mahalaxmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. The people of Bode consider goddess Mahalaxmi as their Ajudeu, mother goddess. This pagoda style two storeyed temple is located in the center of Bode. This temple was constructed around 17th century.
Thimi Durbar (Layaku)
Thimi durbar is the ancient palace of Thimi. This is the palace where Bal Dev stayed. This palace is an ancient palace located in the heart of Thimi. The main idol of goddess Balkumari which is taken out only in Bisket Jatra to perform jatra is kept here. Similarly, Layaku Bhairab dance of Thimi is also started from here which is held for the following four nights of Gai Jatra. There are many shrines of gods and goddesses kept in this ancient palace including a temple dedicated to lots Ganesha and goddess Taleju Bhawani which is opened in the tika of Mohani.
Madhyapur Thimi is an ancient town rich for its temples. Many temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses are located here which include Siddhikali temple, Dachin Barahi temple, Shree 3 Bishnu Bir Mai temple at Sunga Tole, Prachanda Bhairab temple, Machhindranath (Nepal Bhasa: Janamaadya) temple, ancient monastery and many temples dedicated to lord Ganesh and so on are some important heritages of Thimi. The Siddhi Ganesh temple and the Nagadesh Buddha Bihar are the important places of Nagadesh of Madhyapur Thimi. Similarly, the Bode Lyaku, Pacho Ganesh, Kalika temple, Neeel Barahi temple etc. are some important heritages of Bode.
Culture and Festivals
Being the ancient newar vilification the town celebrate various festivals such as Bisket Jatra which falls on the mid April to mark the end of the year and beginning of new year according to Bikram Samvat. Specially the Jatra celebrated all three major towns of Thimi Municipality. The chariot carrying the statues of different Devtas are circulated carried on the shoulders of the youngsters. Altogether 32 charioits are circulated. Similarly there is unique tradition in Bode to pierce the tongue of a young man to mark the day of escapement of the evil and Jatra begins next to that. Although the Bisket Jatra is celebrated in whole of Bhaktapur it has special importance and influence that those celebrated in other places of Bhaktapur.
Similarly Neelbarahi Naach of Bode Bhaktapur, which is celebrated in Bode during August month after there days of Gaijatra.The people wear masks of the various faces to mark as the reincarnation of the gods.They would dance with the traditional spiritual music .during the performance they are not allowed to speak, eat and even to drink water.
Another important traditional dance in Madhyapur Thimi is the Layaku Bhaila Naach which is also performed by people of Thimi in the month of August in Thimi after four days of Gaijatra. Altogether five men dance in this traditional dance with four youth and one child. The men wear masks of Bhairab and Daagi (Kumari). There are two Bhairabs and Daagis and one Jyapuga (the child artist). They dance with traditional spiritual music and after dancing they start shivering (except the child artist) because of the divine powers of gods. When they are shivering they lose their sense and know nothing about what happened. The adult dancers who are dancing, get hypnotised when they hear the sound of Daaga baja, Bhusya baja and Ponga baja (Different Newari musical instruments). According to the recent dancers, they feel like a divine power embaracing them to encourage dancing more and more. According to them when they are dancing they loose half of their consciousness, heavy clothing starts becoming lighter and when they shiver they feel like in the state of unconsciousness or like when they are asleep. This shows that the community has strong devotion toward their tradition and culture. They must not stop dancing even if it is raining. The people of Thimi also used to pierce tongue the night after Indra Jatra but it is a difficult task to pierce the tongue, it is not being continued.
- Mohan Pant, Shūji Funo, Stupa and Swastika: Historical Urban Planning Principles in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. NUS Press, 2007 ISBN 9971693720, citing Allchin: 1980
- Prajapati, Subhash Ram (2005). Destination Thimi (1st ed.). Bhaktapur: Chapacho Information Centre. ISBN 9994635506.
- Madhyapur Thimi, Nepal. Digital Himalaya itle=Madhyapur Thimi Layaku http://www.twitter.com/ArjunSh97749427/status/776265764168802304/photo/1 itle=Madhyapur Thimi Layaku Check
|url=value (help). Retrieved 2016-09-16. Missing or empty
- "Nepal Census 2001". Nepal's Village Development Committees. Digital Himalaya. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-08-26.