Temples in Nepal
Nepal is a country which is known for its religious and cultural legacy. The most beautiful thing about this place is that you will never run out of religious places. Nepal has its own distinct cultural flavour. Many people call Nepal the house of Gods & Goddesses. Many of us know that Nepal is the Home of World’s Highest Peak, Mount Everest, but what few of us don’t know is that the most famous temples can be found here.
If you are traveling around Nepal then you must visit some of these famous temples of Nepal that are worth a visit for their uniqueness and beauty.
Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu
Nepal’s holiest Hindu site, Pashupatinath Temple which is designed in Pagoda style is located on the banks of the beautiful Bagmati River that runs through Kathmandu. People from the diverse globe come here to worship ‘Lord Shiva’. The inner sanctum where the Shiva Linga is placed, has four entrances.
The western entrance is the main entrance through which the devotees have Shiva Lingadarshan but from 9:30 to 1:30 devotees can worship from all the four doors. All the four doors are also open during Abhisheka time that from 9 am to 11 am.
The Abhisheka ticket costs around 1100/- which also includes Rudraabhisheka and other pujas. The tickets are available at the SBI counter. This temple is famous for its festivals and thousands of people come here to attend these festivals. The most famous festivals are Maha Shiva Ratri Chaturthi festival and Teej Festival.
Only Hindus are allowed to enter the compound of the main temple while the other doors are open for all. This temple is also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated 5 km north of Kathmandu valley.
Maya Devi Temple, Lumbini
Named after the mother of the Lord Gautama Buddha, Maya Devi Temple is one of the most significant temples in Lumbini (Nepal). This temple is known as 4 most sacred places in all of Buddhism. This temple is considered to be sacred because this is where Maya Devi gave birth to Gautama Buddha.
There is a brick pavilion that safeguards the temple ruins and just beside the ruins there is a holy pond where Maya Devi had taken bath before giving birth to Gautama Buddha. Pilgrims come here to pray, meditate and feel enlightened. It has number of places within its complex that you can explore such as the famous Ashoka Pillar, the Sacred Bathing Pond and the Bodhi Tree.
This temple is also listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site and if you’re a spiritual person then you must add this temple to your list while visting Nepal.
Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu
Swayambhu Temple is sited on the top of the Semgu Hill located in the outskirts to the west of the Kathmandu Valley. It is a sacred structure for both a Hindu & Buddhist temple in Nepal. It is also known as the ‘Monkey Temple’ because of the mob of the monkeys that reside here. One needs to pay INR 200 as the entry to ascend 365 steps which will take you to a lofty hilltop, on which this temple is built, giving a magnificent view of the Kathmandu Valley lying below.
Along with a golden Buddha shrine, there are numerous small temples surrounding the main temple building and are made of pure gold. Legends have it that once ‘Swayambhu Purana’ recounted a supernatural lotus, planted by a Buddha, bloomed from the lake that once secured Kathmandu Valley. Though this temple faced a major destruction during Nepal earthquake of 2015, it still continues to be one of the most splendid and must visit temples in Nepal.
Dakshinkali Temple, Kathmandu
Located only a kilometre away from the village of Pharping, Dakshinkali Temple is situated 22 kilometres from Kathmandu. This temple is dedicated to the fierce deity Goddess Kali and local people believe that this temple came into existence when Goddess Kali appeared in the dream of ‘Malla king’.. The temple was built by Rani Rashmoni, a devotee of Kali in 1855.
To get their wishes fulfilled, Local Hindu people sacrifices animal mainly male goats and cockerels. These rituals are usually carried out on Tuesdays and Saturdays and during Dusshera or Dashain festival. During the festival, Dakshinkali Temple is beautifully decorated and large numbers of Stalls are set up. Thousands of people attend the festival and take part in the rituals. The temple is open all days from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. It is one of the Nepal famous temples.
Located about 10 km from the Kathmandu city, Budhanilkantha Temple is renowned as the place of peace & power. It is another famous temple of Hindu people which lie at the base of ‘Shivapuri Hill’. This temple is famous for its enigmatic stone carved statue of Lord Vishnu in a resting position. This statue which is around 1000 years old is carved out of a single block of black stone and lies in the recesses pool of water.
It is said that a farmer and his wife once stuck the statue while cultivating the land and blood started to flow and this led to the discovery of the water figure of Budhanilkantha deity.
Thousands of people visit Kathmandu to attend Haribondhini Ekadashi Mela, which takes place in the month of October/ November and celebrate the awakening on Lord Vishnu from a very long sleep. This temple is open on all days from 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM and for Darshana visit between 4 PM to 5 PM. It is one of the most beautiful temples in Nepal. If you are in Nepal then do visit this temple and seek the blessings of the god.
Changu Narayan Temple
Located about 8 miles east of Kathmandu district in Bhaktapur, Changu Narayan Temple is oldest pagoda style Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu in Nepal. This temple is surrounded by champ trees, carvings of Tantric deities, stone carved lions guarding all the four doors and a huge Garuda statue. This beautiful temple is sited atop a hill which is also called Changu or Dolagiri.
Built in 4th century, Changu Narayan temple is now listed by UNESCO as the world Heritage Site. Travellers from different countries come here to experience the majestic beauty of this beautiful temple. A large number of people gather here during festivals and cultural activities.
Situated near the famous Pashupatinath Temple, Guhyeshwari Temple is one of the Shakti Peeths which holds immense significance among many Hindus. This temple was assembled in 17th century by Lord Pratap Malla. Guhya means to surrender and Ishwari means Goddess. This temple is dedicated to Lord Parvati. It is believed that after the self-immolation of Sati, Shiva carried the corpse on his shoulder and wherever the arts of the body fell, Shakti peeths originated.
Only Hindu people are allowed to enter the shrine where the goddess is worshipped in Kalash which is covered with a layer of silver and gold. The temple is opened on all the days from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM. The interior of this temple is quite simple with flower motifs and beautiful patterns adorned on walls and pillars.
Situated in the Gorkha district of Nepal, Manakamana Temple is another popular Hindu temple in Nepal. Since the 17th century, people come here to fulfil their wishes. Manakamana has originated from the words ‘Maan’ which means soul and ‘Kamana’ which means wish. The chief goddess of Manakamana is Bhagwati who is an incarnation of Parvati.
The temple can be reached by a thrilling 8-minute long cable car ride from Abhukhaireni. It is believed that this temple was made when the farmer accidently hit the stone and blood & milk came out of it which was later declared as the recreation of goddess and therefore Manakamana Temple was made.
Earlier only Hindus used to visit this temple but now people of other religions also visit this delightful temple. Every year two grand fairs are celebrated on Kartik Panchami and Baisakh Panchami alluring thousands of pilgrims.
Situated about 11 km from the central region and the north eastern outskirts of Kathmandu, Boudhanath stupa dominates the skyline with its gargantuan spherical shape and is one of the Buddhist temples in Nepal. The massive Mandala of this magnificent stupa makes it the largest in Nepal.
Thousands of pilgrims gather here every day and perform ‘Kora’. It is believed that anyone who bow low in front of the stupa and circumambulates it with no ill thoughts, receives good karma. Devotees of different religions come here to seek refuge. The spiritual aura of this majestic temple is beyond description. This temple is worth a visit.
If you are a religious person or a type of person who has interest in the beautiful architecture of Nepal, You must pay your visit to these ancient temples of Nepal. Due to these religious sites and popular temples, many places are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can visit these temples to find peace or witness the powerful faith of people.