This small pit in front of Kasthamandap in the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square area of Kathmandu is often ignored. Once surrounded by hawkers & vegetable sellers on the sidewalk, this Bhutasiga is now fenced off. It is associated with Bhuteshwar Mahadev just across the street.
Coming from Basantapur or Hanumandhoka Durbar Square towards Kasthamandap, the wooden shelter that was destroyed by Historic Earthquake of 2015, you may have seen a large statue of Garuda (vehicle of Lord Vishnu) on the left! The dome-shaped temple next to the Garuda statue is Bhuteshwar Mahadev. Along with this Bhutsiga: there is another pit, wherein lies a shapeless rock, which is considered to be one of the Ashta Bhairavas (Eight manifestations of God Bhairabh) surrounding Kasthamandap. Since these two are next to each other, people often mistake one for the other. This is the very spot where a ritualistic sword is exchanged between the ruling king of the country and Pachali Bhairav, during the dance of Shri Pachali Bhairav, every 12 years. It is believed that Shri Pachali Bhairav granted the power to the king to rule the country for the next 12 years, the reason why this place is called Nepa Ga.
Various stories and legends are found regarding Bhutsiga. According to one of the popular legends, King Siddhi Narsingh Malla of Patan, organized a Yagya ( Ritual sacrifice with fire) and a grand feast after the construction of the Krishna temple but he did not invite King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu as the relationship between the two was not so cordial. Curious to find out how the event was progressing, Pratap Malla reached Patan disguised himself as a serpent with his tantric powers.
Everyone was terrified when a snake was seen on the sacrificial ground. King impulsively decided to sacrifice serpent in the Yagya. While in Kathmandu, the sudden disappearance of their king in the palace alarmed everyone. The famous Tantric Guru Jaman Gubhaju was summoned who with his clairvoyance, discovered the king’s whereabouts. Thus, queen hurriedly arranged for a puja to summon the demons, to safely bring back the king to Kathmandu and in reward would offer a feast to the demons.
The demons immediately reached the sacrificial grounds and started sobbing instantaneously. Realizing that it was inauspicious for a child to cry at a place of worship and sacrifice, they were asked what they wanted. The children said they were hungry and then Siddhi Narsingh Malla arranged them to be fed. The demons emptied the royal granary but could not be satiated. When the despaired king of Patan asked the children what they wanted, they asked for the snake.
The Patan king had to honour his guests’ wish. King Pratap Malla was saved thanks to the demon. Jaman Gubhaju offered a feast to the demons as he had promised. Subsequently, Gubhaju consulted with the king and found a solution to humble the invoked demons. They decided to establish a temple of Lord Shiva, in his form of Bhuteswar, the lord of demons. The demons were coaxed, appeased and buried in the same place by promising them an annual feast.
Later on, the place came to be considered as a square haunted by the ghosts.
Another story tells us that Lord Bhairav was given the responsibility to protect the square from the buried ghosts. Even today, the tradition of an annual worshipping continues here and it is also customary to worship the nearby Bhairav.
People also believe that worshipping in the spot can pacify family disputes, protect from evil spells and appease ghosts and evil spirits.
Source: Heritage Inherited