Lake of Kathmandu Valley; ‘The Snake Lake’
Nagdaha, a mysterious lake is situated at about 4.5km from the Satdobato, in a small village of Dhapakhel. It has been able to allure explorers with its rich history and its tranquility. The lake is believed to be about 5 hectares and to have originated from a stone tap inside Gaukhureshwor Temple, a temple on the north-western side of the lake. As the name suggests, Nagdaha ( Lake of Snakes) is believed to be the home of thousands of lakes.
There are many myths surrounding the place. However, two of them are popular among the locals. It is believed that in ancient times, Lord Shiva used to live at Nagdaha which made the goddess Bajrabarahi, worried about her own decreasing number of devotees. She then transformed herself into a pig and started making grunting noises. Pigs are traditionally associated with dirt and filth. Lord Shiva, thinking that the lake was dirty because of the existence of pigs then went in search of a clean place and settled himself at Gosainkunda Lake in Rasuwa district.
Another famous myth about this place is that a male serpent (a serpent king) lives in Taudaha and a female serpent is at Nagdaha. During the rainy season, the male serpent makes a journey to the town of Panauti in order to participate in a festival. It is said that he stays with the female serpent of Nagdaha on his way to and back from Panauti. This union of the nagas, mythical half serpent, half-human beings, results in heavy rain.
Due to these beliefs, Nagdaha holds special religious significance. During Nag Panchami, thousands of devotees visit the lake and take a dip in the pond and perform puja in the temple. The temple is located at the southern edge of the lake and is believed to be blessed by the snake god. Rishi Panchami is also celebrated at Nagdaha, worshipping the Saptarishi's. And also in the Buddha Jayanti, monks from the nearby Bihars visit the lake and release hundreds of fish into the lake signifying the beginning of new life cycles.
The lake is known as a natural habitat for a variety of aquatic plants, fish and migratory birds. The view of Phulchoki, Santaneshwor and Kotadada can be seen from the lake. One can get a great view of the sunset and sunrise from the place which is pretty awesome and jaw-dropping. Exploring the nearby hills, trails, forest and temples can be exciting while visiting the lake.
Nagdaha is rich in aquatic wildlife and bird species. Many species of native fishes such as Barbs and Snakeheads are abundant. This is also home to several bird species like Black Kite, Black Drongo, Cattle Egret, Oriental Magpie Robin, Common Myna, Rose-ringed Parakeet and Red-Vented Bulbul are some of the resident birds. Migrants include Cuckoos and Eurasian Coot. It is the best place to watch birds in the Kathmandu valley.
The pond has been used for various purposes like washing clothes, bathing, fishing, irrigation, as well as religious purposes. However, boating and swimming in the pond have been closed due to safety concerned. Due to the uncivilized human activities and pollution, the beauty of the pond has been decreasing day by day. But, the local people and authorities have taken things into their own hands and are trying to preserve the integrity of the place.
Rara Lake: The QUEEN of Lakes