Chaku :The Story & The History Behind Chaku


Chaku Among the many festivals celebrated by the Newars are some that are named after food. Like Yomari again, Samay again, Kwati again, Halimali again. One of them is a Chaku . Celebrated on January 1 every year, ‘Ghya: Chaku Sanlhu’ is a name made by combining ghee and Chaku . As soon as the name of the Chaku is mentioned, Tokha, a famous place for making Chaku , is added. Bhadgaon’s topi, Khokna’s oil and Tokha’s Chaku are famous all over the country. Tokha has been busy making Chaku  for months before Maghe Sankranti. At one time, the whole town was like an open Chaku  factory.

Why did Tokha become famous for Chaku? Behind this is the geographical location of Tokha. Sugarcane is the most important raw material for making Chakus . The juice is extracted by crushing the sugarcane. That juice is called ‘Sakhasti’ in Nepali. The same is true of cooking and making Chaku . Sugarcane is basically a fruit sacrifice in hot places. However, Tokha is the only place where sugarcane grows in the cold Kathmandu Valley. Even about a hundred years ago, sugarcane was grown in front of every house in Tokha.

Chaku -Notes Nepal
Chaku Making

Sugarcane is called ‘Tu’ in Nepali and open space is called ‘Khya’. As it is an open place where sugarcane grows, it is called ‘Tukhya’. The same word ‘Tukhyah’ was corrupted to become the present ‘Tokha’.

From crushing sugarcane to making Chaku, one has to go through a cycle. It is also customary to have a feast on the day of the end of that cycle. Thus, since all the work from sugarcane production to making a Chaku  by crushing it is done in one bag, Tokha has become synonymous with a Chaku .We have seen tourists trekking towards the mountains carrying plenty of chocolates. They are also eating chocolate while walking on the road. Because chocolate gives you the power to fight cold.

Such chocolate was not made hundreds of years ago. So the Newars of Kathmandu used Chaku  to fight the cold. That is why the Newars have made a festival of eating Chakus  saying that you have to eat Chakus  even on only one day of the year. Chaku are eaten in the freezing winter of Magh, also mixed with ghee.

Tokha has been doing the work of holding the Newar festival. But this is not the only reason why Tokha is so important. Tokha itself is a city full of various cultural festivals. Tokha is considered to be as old as Nepal. Evidence has been found that Tokha became a well-organized city in the Lichhavi period. It was also a route for Newar traders from Kathmandu to trade in Tibet, China.

Chaku -Notes Nepal

That is why Tokha is also called the ‘Northern Gate’ of Nepal.The Biscuit Jatra, which is celebrated every year on the 1st of Baisakh, is often remembered as the Jatra of Bhaktapur. However, Biscuit Jatra is also celebrated in Tokha. This festival is celebrated from 1st to 4th of Baisakh in full swing. At this time, a grand fair is held at the dream shrine of Tokha, where there is a statement that leprosy can be cured after bathing.

Every year, Madhav NarayaT fasts for a month from the day the story is told. After Madhav Narayan’s fast, only the fast of Sankhu’s Shali river is remembered. However, such a month-long fast is also observed in Tokha. A month-long fair is held at the Chandeshwari temple here under the name Harmar Punhi. This Chandeshwari temple has another significance. That is why Nepal is called the land of the gods of Tettiskoti. This Chandeshwari temple in Tokha is the abode of these thirty gods. Chaku .

There is a story in the story of Swasthani starting from this month, Sati Devi’s father Daksha Prajapati organized a big Yajna, in the same Yajna she could not bear to insult her husband Mahadev, Sati Devi gave up her life and Mahadev walked madly carrying the same mortal body of Sati Devi. It is believed that the sacrifice was performed in the town of Tokha.

When we say Kumari, we remember a Kumari living in a Kumari house in Kathmandu. However, Tokha has its own Tokha Kumari. Kumari attends various festivals held there. Indrajatra is celebrated in Kathmandu. Tokha is celebrated for five days but the style of celebrating is very loving.

These five days of Indrajatra are also considered as an opportunity to propose love to each other. For five days, religious activities are performed in various temples in the city, worshiping and lighting lamps. In this festival, if a boy or a girl likes themselves, they are allowed to propose love and run away and get married if they like. Especially during these five days, women get a special discount for making love proposals. During this period, the girl will make a love proposal by hitting the boy she likes with Bakina’s bean.

If the boy laughs like that, the love proposal is accepted, if he is angry, it is rejected.mIn Nepali society, it is not customary to propose love to a girl, but this tradition of Tokha has given such an opportunity to women as well. However, modern youths in Tokha have stopped waiting for Indrajatra to propose love.Tokha has a special place not only in terms of culture but also in terms of history. As Tokha is not a separate state, it is rarely mentioned in history. But no matter how much it is mentioned in history, it is clear that Tokha has played an important role in the history of Nepal.

Although the kings of the then Nepal Mandal did not have much activity here, the prominent officials working in the palace made Tokha a place for their various activities. Inside the palace, the refuge of some of the rebels was found to be in disrepair.After the demise of Pratap Malla, the creator of Ranipokhari, which is now being discussed, Nepal’s politics became very unstable. His son Parthivendra Malla, who came to the throne after Pratap Malla, also died suddenly. He died of poisoning. When Parthivendra died, his son Bhupalendra Malla was only eight years old.

Rajmata Riddhilakshmi ruled with an eight-year-old king on the throne.Chikuti, Laxminarayan Joshi and other dignitaries helped Rajmata.As Bhupatendra Malla matured at a young age, he could not stand the interference of his mother and other dignitaries in his rule. Therefore, he accused his father of being poisoned by his own mother and expelled Rajmata Riddhilakshmi from the palace and brought her to this place and detained her.  .

Chaku -Notes Nepal

Before Prithvinarayan Shah invaded Kathmandu, he started capturing small towns around the strategically important Kathmandu. Among them, he was forced to take Kirtipur. It was not difficult to get Tokha. By his single order, Tokha Nagar was annexed by the Gurkha state. Three years before Prithvinarayan Shah’s conquest of Kathmandu, Tokha had become a part of the Gurkha state.Attempts are being made to include Tokha, which is important from different points of view, in the World Heritage List.


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