The Cat with a hat

When we hear about mystical creatures, the things that spontaneously come to our mind are big horrendous beasts, petrifying faces, and deafening sounds. However, there exists a creature in Kashmiri mythology which is powerful, yet filled with kindness; hidden but enchanting; unlit but still luminous.
The “Yaech”, also known as “Yach” or “Yaksha”, is regarded as the spirit of Kuber, The Lord of Wealth, in the body of a dark-colored civet with a small cap on its head. The cap is called the “phous”, which is made of glittering gold and is adorned with invaluable jewels and dazzling diamonds. It is believed that the “Phous” can bestow a person with humongous worldly gifts. These gifts can only be achieved when the “phous” is seized from the “Yaech” by a person, and then the “phous” is given back to the “Yaech” by the person who seized it. The “Yaech” are believed to have lived in the mountains of Kashmir. Sanskrit scholars have cited that the villages Rairyaech, Ichigam, Ichimama, and Humama might have been “Yaech” settlements. According to the celebrated book Rajatarangini, authored by Kalhana, “The “Yaech” descend to the valley during the month of ‘Paush’ (December), where the naga inhabitants confer them with amicability, by offering them the mouth-watering cuisine of khichdi, rice, and lentils”. This is still practiced in some Kashmiri Pandit households.
It is difficult to say, with certainty, if the “Yaech” is real or not. Maybe it is just a myth, created to lead people astray in the search of the “Yaech”. Maybe it is real, because myths always come from some truth. Until someone is actually successful in capturing the “Yaech” and seizing its cap, becoming wealthy beyond reason, we will never know the answer to this question.

Previous articleBlending Rhythms
Next articleYellow

Related Posts



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Recent Stories