taudaha pond notice

Taudaha diktat: hugging will cost you Rs. 1500, kissing 2000, fishing 15,000

Couples at Taudaha
Couples at Taudaha

Did you notice a recent tweet by veteran journalist Kishore Nepal? This post, particularly its timing, is inspired by his tweet.

Yesterday he tweeted: “Suggestions to young lovers of Kathmandu. Taudah is not a good place for romance. Better to visit somewhere else to avoid do & don’t.”

And a genuine question by @Ushaft: “where else, for example? Kathmandu doesn’t have friendly spaces for couples and young people.”

सपनाको बगैचामा
सपनाको बगैचामा

[Here’s a related article (सपनाको बगैचामा), btw, from 2008.]

Wondering why Kishore Nepal said that? A big noticeboard at the entrance of Taudaha lake says the following:

Discipline is the identity of civilized citizen.

If you are found doing the following restricted activities inside the lake area you will be fined as per the following:

Restricted activities

Hugging: Rs 1500
Kissing: Rs 2000
Entering into the lake area in student uniform: Rs 500
Drinking alcohol and doing drugs: Rs. 5000
Fishing: Rs. 15,000
Swimming: Rs. 10,000

By Karkotak Nagraja Nagrani Habitat Taudaha Society

Check out these photos taken in September:

If you want to know what Taudaha is (from Wikipedia):

Taudaha Lake is a small lake in the outskirts of Kathmandu, in Nepal. The name comes from a combination of Newari words ‘Ta’, meaning snake and ‘Daha’, which means lake.

Mythological origins

The Taudaha Lake is believed to be a remnant pool of the huge lake that once existed where now the city of Kathmandu sits. According to mythology, a Buddhist mythical character Manjushree cut the hill in the valley’s south, allowing the lake’s water to drain off, thereby creating land that was duly occupied by people. Folklore suggests that that “cut” in the hill is the Chobar Gorge, a narrow passage from which the Bagmati River exits the Kathmandu Valley. After the water of the ancient lake drained away, a few small lakes and ponds were created beyond the hills. Taudaha is believed to be one of those ponds.

When the lake was drained, countless nagas, mythological creatures that were half human and half serpent, were left homeless. This made the Naga King Karkotak livid. In order to allay his wrath, the locals living near Taudaha built an underwater palace, studded with precious stones and riches beyond imagination. The Serpent King was pleased and ruled his serpent subjects in their underwater kingdom. The king also promised to protect the humans living around the lake, on the condition that the tranquility of his water abode never be disrupted. It is due to this that even today locals do not swim or fish in the lake.

Migratory bird haven

The lake, arguably the only clean water body remaining in the Kathmandu Valley, is a stop over for numerous migratory bird species. Some of the visitors to the lake include the cormorants, Ruddy Shelduck, Serpent eagle, common teal.