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Kartik Dance (Katti Pyakha)

Subash Shrestha May 23, 2020

Kartik Dance ( Katti – Pyakha)

Kartik Dance, also known as ‘Katti – Pyakha’ is a traditional dance of Newar community performed during the month of Kartik (October/November) at Patan Durbar Square. This dance was contributed firstly by Siddhinarsingh Mallawho started this tradition then later on it was continued by his son and grandson with some add up to the act.

kartik dance

History:

Martin Dance was started by Siddhinarsingh Maila back then, Patan used to be a gleaming state of the valley. It is believed that Patan had a ‘dosh’ (bad foreshadow) and the Malla’s guru co suited him to perform a Narbali (sacrifice of a human body) in order to bring back prosperity. But it was a hard thing for Siddhinarsingh Malla as he would have been criticized for that activity. Being the King and a faithful devotee of Lord Vishnu, he would have to do something about it. So, instead of sacrificing humans, he came up with a plan to create an act where the evil Hiranyakashipu gets defeated by the Lord Narsinghma avatar. Since then it’s still in practice.

Photo Credit: NARESH KRISHNA SHRESTHA

It is believed that most of the act scenes were written by the King himself which had an impact. It started with an 8 day act which was based on Lord Vishnu’s story. Later, his son Shreeniwas Malla with some satiric play, extended seven more days in the act. Shreeniwas Malla’s son, Yog Nagendra Mall Extended 12 more days i.e. Ushaharan (5days) and Madhavanal (7 days).

In present days:

It’s still believed that the person as the avatar of Hiranyakashipu passes out every year when slated by the avatar of Narsinghma. It used to be 27 days long. After the democracy in 1950, it was brought down to 2 days for the next 31 years. But after the establishment of KNPC, the show now is performed for 8 days every year. With the people from a sub-group of Newar community performing the act and a huge crowd to watch the show. 

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