Picture Source: Lakshmann
The most sacred temple of Hindu Lord Shiva in the world, Pashupatinath Temple’s existence dates back to 400 A.D. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, symbol of Lord Shiva. It is Located just 5 km north-east of Kathmandu UNESCO listed World Cultural Heritage Site. Appointed by the Pashupati Area Development Trust, only four priests can touch the idol of Lord Shiva and priests are always from south India. This custom is believed to be in practice by Sage Shankaracharaya from 6th century. The two level roofs of the temple are coated with gold and the four main doors are coated with silver. A Large Gold colored statue of Nandi the Bull is placed outside the western door.
Picture Source : dorgel1
Around 15 km north of the center of Kathmandu nearby the entrance of National Park Shivapuri the village of Budhanilkantha lies a 5m long sleeping Lord Vishnu (Jalasayana, he who sleeps on the waves lying in a 13m long tank, as if floating with His legs crossed. The sculpture from the 5th century represents Vishnu’s sleeping in the cosmic ocean while resting on Ananta Sesa the thousand headed snake. Only Hindus are allowed down the steps and touch his feet.
Located in Gorkha, Manakamana is the name of a Hindu Goddess. Mana means ‘heart’ or ‘soul’ and Kamana means the ‘wish’. Since the 17th century Manakamana Devi has been widely believed to fulfill all the wishes. The Shrine is accessible in about 10 minutes with Nepal’s first cable car.
Legend has it that Gorkha King Ram Shah’s (1614-1636 A.D) Queen possessed divine powers- a fact known only to Lakhan Thapa, her devotee. One day, when the King discovered that his Queen was a Goddess, he suddenly died. As per the custom, the Queen had to commit sati on his cremation pyre. Consoling the lamenting Lakhan, she promised to reappear near his home. Six months later, a farmer hit a stone while ploughing his field and noticed blood and milk flowing from it. The flow ceased when Lakhan worshipped the stone with tantric rituals. The site became the foundation of the present-day shrine-the current pujari Priest being the 17th generation descendant of Lakhan Thapa.
Renovated many times over the centuries, the Manakamana Temple has a four-tiered pagoda style roof with the entrance facing southwest. The priest performs daily prayers and rituals behind closed doors before allowing the public to enter. Manakamana Devi is widely believed bless her devotees by fulfilling their wishes.
Picture Source : september.
Dakshinkali is the temple of goddess kali located 22 km outside Kathmandu, and about 1 km outside the village of Pharping. There is a popular belief that Goddess Kali came in the dream of a Malla king, the ruler of 14th century and commanded the king to build a temple dedicating her in a very unknown strange place The stone image of Kali is said to be found on the same spot Goddess Kali had commanded to build the Temple. Over her head a gilded canopy is kept erect with four golden serpents. Here wishes are made in front of the goddess with sacrifice of animals particularly of cockerels and uncastrated male goats. On Tuesday, Saturday and particularly during the festival of Dashain, the court-yard of temple is covered with blood of sacrifice Goddess Kali is offered.
Picture Source: yadavop
The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and this remarkable and historic temple of Changu Narayan dates from 1702, when it was rebuilt after a fire, however it is believed that the origins go back to the 4th century as most of the stone sculptures date from the Licchavi period (4th to 9th centuries)
The double-roofed temple of Vishnu is situated on a hilltop at the eastern end of the valley, about 6km north of Bhaktapur and 22km from Kathmandu. Here we can find various forms Vishnu took, such as Narsingha man-lion incarnation, Vikrantha/Vamana, the six-armed dwarf. We can also find the figure of Garuda, the man – bird mount of Lord Vishnu, snake around his neck kneeling with hands in the namaste position facing the temple and stone Lions guarding the wonderfully gilded door, which is flanked by equally detailed gilded windows. Two pillars at the front corners carry a conch and disc, the traditional symbols of Vishnu .In the northwestern corner there is a 7th-century image of Vishnu astride the Garuda, which is illustrated on the Rs 10 banknote.
The three-storied temple of Bajrayogini is located northeast to Kathmandu, at the shore of Sali River on the hills of Sankhu. The main entrance is gold-plated, face and hands are painted red, she has two hands, one holding a sword, the other a lotus and she is adorned with heavy clothing and ornaments. The temple is most visited specially in the month of Magh when people visit the Sali River to take Holy Dip and worship Goddess Swasthani.
Bajrayogini also stands as a proof to the belief that Buddhism existed in Nepal from around the start of the first century AD. Gum Bihar, a Buddhist shrine, was built during the Licchavi period (300-879AD). In the 11th century, the people of the area began to divert to Hinduism and due to this change of religious focus the Buddhist Gum Bihar lost much of its attractiveness to the Bajrayogini Temple.