The Kôt at Katmandoo during the Dussera
Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)
Watercolour of the Kot at Kathmandu in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), c. 1850-1863. The image is inscribed on the reverse: 'The Kôt at Katmandoo during the Dussera'.
The Durga puja (Dussehra) is the festival commemorating the victory of the godddess Durga over the buffalo-demon Mahisasura and runs for ten days in the beginning of October. The artist, Dr Oldfield, was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863 and wrote in 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880), "The ninth is the principal day of the festival, and on it the great slaughtering of buffaloes at the headquarters of regiments occurs...In the Kot, where seven regiments are quartered, the number of animals killed is very great...The King and principal Sardars are usually present at the Kot to witness the scene. About one hundred and fifty buffaloes are killed within the quadrangle of the building during the night and early morning. It is a curious sight. the bands are playing, guns firing, and the animals are brought up for slaughter one after another, without any attempt being made to clean the yard or wash away the torrents of blood which are streaming all over the place. The headless carcasses lie about in all directions until they are gradually removed by the different parties to whom they have been assigned." The Kot can be seen in this view as it is situated on the north-west corner of the Darbar (Royal Palace) and was used as the military council-chamber.