In Newari, Chwa or Cho means ‘Up’ and ‘Bahal’ suggests ‘Vihar’( the Buddhist Monastery). Since there was a Vihar at the top of the Hill, the place was named Chobahal and in course of time the word Chobahal changed to Choval and to its present form- ‘Chobhar’. There still exists an old Vihar surrounded by houses in this place.
Myth associated with Chobhar:-
According to Swayamvu Puran, Manjushree– a divine Saint from China visited Nagarjun hill from where he threw lotus seeds into the Great Lake (which was to be turned to Kathmandu Valley in course of time) and then returned back. Some times elapsed as the thousand petalled lotus bloomed out of the seed which was emanating bright 5 rayed light at the center. Pancha Buddha Swayamvu originated out of the 5 rayed light. Manjushree returned and after circling the peaks thrice, struck a deep cleft in Southern Hills with his Chandrahas Khadga( a sword of Manjushree) to let the water out of the lake and observe and worship the Swayamvu. The bed of the lake became Kathmandu Valley. The place where he cut the lake is named Chovar.
The myth continues to explain the origin of Taudaha– a lake near to Chovar. It says when the water of the lake drained, Manjushree saw all the serpents including Karkotak Naag (the Serpent King) flowing out. So to stop them, he built this lake- Taudaha.
Chovar gorge is the only water outlet of the valley through which Bagmati River flows out of Kathmandu.
1 Manjushree Gorge:
Also called Chobhar Gorge, there lies a bridge built in 1903 A.D. One can view Jal Binayak Temle and Chobhar Cave from the Bridge. Western part of gorge is developing as a Recreational Center.
2 Adinath Temple:
It is the temple of famous Rato MachhendraNath known as Adinath Lokeswor by Buddhists. Though the temple is believed to be very old, it was built in present form by King Sri Nivas Malla in 17th c. AD. One can view Mount Everest from the temple comlex in a clear sunny day. The temple is especially thronged with Devotees during Dashain festival.
3 Manjushree Cave:
It is situated just right of Manjushree Gorge. It is 1250 m long and said to be the third longest Cave of South Asia. The cave is named Chakhunti Bakhunti by locals which means Cave of Pigeons and Sparrows. There are several interconnected routes to explore in this cave. It is compulsion to take Guide appointed by the management Committee with you if you want to enter the Cave.
4 Other nearby interesting places you can visit: Kirtipur, Taudaha, Machhegaon
People and Culture:-
Majority of people living here are Newars( the oldest indigenous group of Kathmandu Valley). Newars are renowned for their many feasts and festivals celebrated throughout the year. They have their own script, language and unique culture.
How to reach:-
Chovar is located in Kirtipur Municipality. Buses and Micro Buses are easily available from Old Buspark of Kathmandu to reach to Chovar.
Where to Stay:-
Big to small Hotels, Lodges, Resorts and Restaurants are available in Chobhar. If you would like, there is even facility of Paying Guest home stay.