Jyoti Kriti Mahavihar
25. Syangu Bahal
In the west said of the Hariti temple, there is a square court surrounded by peculiar type of two storeyed house facing east. This Bahi was founded by the faithful donor of Kathmandu, Maru tole Jyoti raj in 1393 A.D., so this bahi also known as ‘Jyoti Kirti Mahavihara’. It was later handover to Sakyabhiksu Sri Madhanju of Paravarta Vihara (Itum Baha) for looking after this Bahi.
Till these days, selected individuals from Itum Baha are looking after this Bahi. The enshrined Aksobhya (Kvapadyah) bears that date. There is also other story about this place that, in the past, when the founder of Itum Baha, Kesachandra was extremely poor, it was here that pigeons from Swoyambhu hill came and left their gold dropping. With the wealth accumulated from the droppings, Kesachandra eventually founded Itum Baha. It is also known as ‘Kesachandra Mahavihara ’.
There used to be one image of the big Mahakala and two loins image, one big stone inscription describing the Swoyambhu stupa are installed in eastside of front door and also six small relief images of Mahakala, and other images of god and goddesses are installed in an array in this Bahi. On the north side of outside wall, there used to big standing Buddha of stone. Regrettably, all the outside images of front door and north side wall, and also some images from inside the Bahie are not remains in the Bahi now. As the condition of the Bahi deteriorated, the Bahi was rebuild by Swoyambhu Vikash Mandal, after they conversion into the International Buddhist Library of the front room on ground floor. All the images of front door and some images of northers side of outside wall are transferred to the Swoyambhu Statue Museum. Other room of building are used by caretaker of the Bahi now days also, but because of 2015 earthquakes it has been badly damage the building of the Bahi, now it’s waiting for renovation.
International Buddhist Library
On the second floor of the Jyoti Kriti Mahavihar by the Hariti temple, is the oldest Buddhist Library in Nepal. The International Buddhist library had a large collection of Buddhist work in many languages, especially Sanskrit, Newari, Nepali, pali, Tibetan and English, some of these books are very rare. But, unfortunately because of bad management the library is in very bad condition, many rare books had been lost and we can see some books are falling here and there. It’s was established in 2027 B.S., by Swoyambhu Vikash Mandal, with help by Maiela Shakya and Tej Ratna Shakya by donating the land for it.