|Thimi Virginal town in Kathmandu Valley|
| Standing in the heart of the three sister cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, this town is the actual representation of Newar lifestyle and culture with traditional houses and numerous temples.
This centrally located high standing town is said to have served as a bulwark between the kingdoms of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur during the late Malla period when they traded bitter relationship with commonly fought battles among the ruling brother kings and first cousins. As legend has it, the valiant residents of the area defended Bhaktapur, and in recognition of their loyal support, the kings of Bhaktapur called them Chhemi meaning "capable people", which later got transformed into "Thimi". Later on, toward the end of the Malla era, the town, owing to its central position, was officially named Madhyapur or "central city".
Equally popular is another version on the derivation of the toponym "Thimi". It says Thimi is derived from Newari terms Thi meaning bright and Mi meaning fire, referring to unconquerable fighting flame of its heroic people.
Likewise, as per some inscriptions discovered, the term Thimi, Thyami, Themi were actually used to denote its residents during the late Lichchhavi and early Malla periods. It was only in the latter half of the Malla period that the town automatically acquired its current name with obvious changes in the original dialect used by the residents of the area.
This fourth largest town of the Valley eight kilometers east of the capital city of Kathmandu, Thimi covers the total area of about 11.47 square kilometers and is the home of about 5,000 inhabitants, the majority being the indigenous Newars. Chettris, Bahuns, Magars, Rais, Sarkis and others follow them.
Madhyapur Thimi was declared a municipality on March 27, 1997 by confederating the five village development committees of Naga Desh, Chapacho, Bal Kumari, Bode and Divyeshwori.
With traditional yet varied income generating activities such as agriculture, cloth weaving, mask making, manufacturing Chiura (beaten rice) and pottery, the Thimi people have indeed made considerable contributions to popularize Nepalís cottage industries in the world.
However, these professions, which have made them popular all over the world, are not just their identity but also their ways of life and incentives for living. And for the Kathmanduites, a major portion of vegetables, especially greens, that serves as their daily diet comes from Thimi.
The traditional temples, stupa-s, pati-s and pauwa-s are among the other important treasures of Thimi. And presently these heritages of ancient times are receiving massive renovation under a project launched with the joint effort of GTZ and Thimi Municipality.
Town planning is also being carried out in full swing in order to carry out development activities but without adversely affecting the traditional monuments and exquisite structures of town beautification. The SAARC Tuberculosis Hospital and central offices of various educational governing bodies as well as other vocational institutes compose the modern installments in the city.
Various festivals, jatra-s and dances typical of Newar communities also mark Madhyapur Thimi. Bisket Jatra, Sithi Nakha, Gatha Muga, Saparu, Mohani Nakha are some major festivals. Sindoor Jatra, more popularly known as Bisket Jatra, is celebrated on the first of the Nepali month of Baisakh (April-May). This is also Nepali New Yearís Day, and is a major festival here as it is in neighboring Bhaktapur.
Also observed alongside in the first week of Baisakh is Jibro Chedne Jatra, meaning tongue-piercing festival, the most popular celebration of the area. People from far and wide in the country and abroad come to see this awe-inspiring ritual where a man pierces his tongue with a large needle manufactured locally.
Even with the anachronistic culture that originated ever since the Kirant period in the Valley, this virginal town, which is on its way to modernization, still retains the identity of lifestyle of the early Kathmandu Valley dwellers, not yet leaving the aura of the ancient periods.
(Source: The Kathmandu Post)