Travel to Thankot in Nepal
It is known that the town of Thankot was established in the Kirat era, as documents and chronicles from this era indicate that it was founded even before Patan. During the rule of the Kirat Thankot was the capital, but lost its capital status after King Yalamber came into power. In ancient times, Thankot was known as Shonitapur. The name Shonitapur translates to ‘The place of Blood’, as the legendary battle between a demon and Krisha’s son is said to have taken place here.
During the reign of King Prithvi Narayan, Shonitapur was renamed to
Thankot and became a military garrison. It later became a dreaded end
for political prisoners, because the town was known to be infested with malaria carrying mosquitoes.
Prisoners were sent here to die an agonizing death at the hands of the
feared illness. As the last Nepali village on the trade route to India,
Thankot regulated trade and became a point of safety and protection for traders.
Thankot is also known as a high-risk landslide zone, but even though numerous
landslides have been recorded in last few years none have been a risk to the
safety of the town and its inhabitants.
As a tourist destination in Nepal, Thankot offers
visitors the opportunity to witness their annual Mahalakshmi Festival. It is
in honor of the goddess Mahalakshmi and during the start of the festival,
statues of the goddess and her faithful companion Ganesh are carried to the
Mahalakshmi temple. The temple is another fascinating attraction to visit
while in Thankot, as it was constructed in 1690 and is an architectural
masterpiece for its time. The festival is accompanied by traditional Nepali music and dance
that starts off slowly and gradually quickens into a fast and loud frenzy.
Tika, a red colored powder, is thrown on participants by the men through out
the proceedings and by the end of the festival most people are covered in
red from head to toe. The festival and sacrifices are to request the deities
to look after the following year’s crops and ensure a successful
Thankot is an agricultural destination in Nepal, as it was the location
where the very first organic farm was established. The farm is not
completely organic, but the owner, Dharma Das Amatya, is steadily working
towards complete organic status. At present, he is Nepal’s only home-made
blackberry jam producer and is always looking at different products to
pioneer. Unfortunately, Thankot made the news in 2006 when Maoists attacked
the Kathmandu Valley and the town was not spared. Eleven lives were lost
during the attack on Thankot and the town is slowly recovering from the
shock and loss suffered in their quaint little town. Locals here are very
gracious and friendly, and visitors will not regret stopping off in this
Last updated: January 22, 2019