This paper aims to discuss the areal extent and spatial structure of neighborhood, called tol
, which possibly demarcate urban fabric with respect to worship and funeral procedure. Bhaktapur is known as one of the historic cities of the World Heritage Site in Kathmandu Valley. The analysis focuses on the house distributions that have the common votary area of the guardian deities' shrine and the use of the same crossing for funeral procedure.
is one of the traditional neighborhood units. But it is not clear how tols
are structured and what tols
have in common. First, we take a look into the existing studies on origin and outline of a tol
, and pay special attention to the following two studies. A research done by Pant (2001) has taken the approach that the key to consider a tol
is the areal extent of worship to the guardian deities, ganesh
. Another research done by Gutschow (1975) has claimed that the clue to determine tol
boundaries is the ways of the Dead to crematories. It consider a tol
as equivalent to the areal extent of use of the same chwasa
which is a stone found often at the crossings on the way to crematories from the diseased houses. Ganesh
is often considered as a guardian deity at various neighborhood levels. That of a tol
is called Tol Ganesh. A Tol Ganesh is normally placed on the main square in a tol
, except when there is a presence of a more prominent deity of wider importance in the main square. People in the same tol
usually worship the same Tol Ganesh. We find out that those living urban dwellings in located on both sides of a street worship to the same Tol Ganesh, but the depth of its areal extent on one side of a street seems shallow than the other side. Chwasa
is an aniconic ritual artifact made of a single stone placed on the crossing. Various articles left by the diseased are disposed on the stone as a part of the funeral procedures, for example clothes, umbilical cord or inauspicious belongings of the dead. We found 7 chwasas
in the case-study area to the east of Dattatraya square. However the inhabitants in the peripheral part of the old city do not use these chwasas
but use the temples or the crematories outside the city area. People living in the midst of the city area after disposing articles of the dead on chvasa
also use the temples afterwards.
Next we compare the areal extent of worship to Tol Ganesh with that of use of chwasa
. Whether or not a ganesh
shrine and chwasa
are closely placed will determines overlapping extent of both votary areas. However it became clear that the areal extent of use of chwasa
have the same character with that of worship to Tol Ganesh in terms of Ryogawa-cho
structure explained below and the difference in horizontal depth perpendicular to the street.
Finally, our suevey located tol
boundaries in the eastern part of Bhaktapur. It turned out that there were 2 types of tol
boundaries. i.e. the more common type whose boundaries lying on the backside of houses (Ryogawa-cho
type), and the other one with boundaries lying on the street (Katagawa-cho
type). Compering these three boundaries, (Tol Ganesh, chwasa
boundaries seem to be an exception. But we will try to find particular meaning in them in the next paper on historic urban formation.