Many of us might be well aware of the fact that the current woodcarving museum and the brass and bronze museum were the former Pujari Maths of Bhaktapur. But have you ever thought that there could be more maths than these in Dattatreya Square?
Yes, the Dattatraya Square, which owns several architectures and shrines filled with extraordinary woodcarvings is one realm that also is shielding the other six pujari maths of eternities.
It’s another turn of the story that we have had actually seen them. Perhaps, we might have praised them too but all unknowingly, not even knowing their names and significance.
However, this shred of the area owns such magnificent details of the history as well as the best pieces of woodcarvings that it wouldn’t be wrong even if we call this place “the square of majestic woodcarvings”.
There are several houses and shops in Dattatraya Square from starting to the ending point of it. Within that space, the eight maths of the Dattatraya Square is absolutely staying unknown, waiting to be recognized.
Here I have expressed more about the six overlooked maths rather than the two popular maths (woodcarving and Brass & bronze Museum) of Dattatraya square.
Well, don’t misunderstand this term math or maths for the mathematical terms. Maths in the context of Nepal generally means the home of the priest. Plus, a resthouse like inns for travellers. During ancient times, many travellers used to travel from India to Tibet via Nepal, so as from Bhaktapur for trading purposes.
It is said that the maths are first built to serve as the resthouses but later on they became one of the prestigious shelters of priests.
If we go on to look at their architectural faction, then we would find it more admirable than any other buildings, existing over there. Just like the temples and other significant monuments of Bhaktapur, they were also built remarkably elegant.
Sithu, Dathu and Taja Math
These three maths, at the south-western corner of Dattatraya Square explicit one of the most beautiful and unique windows of Nepal. These trio maths symmetrically expose the typical newar architecture of building a house in the 18th century ( by adjoining them with one another).
It also showcases the extensively carved wooden windows. As per their characteristics, those windows are named Shanjhya (a three paced window which seems more common in that era), Biman Jhya and Surya Jhya ( a sun-shaped window). The Sithu, Dathu and Taja Maths respectively represent the last, middle and continuous building of the row.
Language Journal: Jhya(in newari term)/ Jhyal (in the Nepalese term) means the window.
Well, do you also know that the woodcarving museum is still very well known as the Pujari Math? And there are more than 20 types of wooden windows engraved in it. You could try finding them while you make a visit over there.
The 18th-century architecture which stands right behind the brass and bronze museum which is well decorated with Shanjhya, Pasuka Jhyal, Aakhi Jhyal, and artistic struts is the Pulanchotha Math. It must be the only math with an extra window raised above the roof. By the way, Pulanchotha means an old storey in the Newari language.
Walking ahead to the west from the Pulanchotha math adhered you to the turn to Salan Ganesh temple. On the same twist, you could notice a tea shop as well. Guess what, the building where that tea shop is opened is the Godawari math. Alike other maths, it was also built in the 18th century and have tremendous beautiful craftings on its windows, doors and struts.
At last but not least there is bardali Math. The name of the Math and the feature that it contains gradually justify each other. Here, bardali refers to the balcony and you can see one hanging under the roof too. By the way, this math lies in between the Godawari Math and Pulanchotha Math.
The brass and bronze museum of Dattatrya Square was also called the statueless art museum of Nepal. Also, the building was named Chikanappa Math cause it was made out of dachi appa and stones. (Appa is a newari term that meant to the bricks)