Top 7 temples to Visit in Kathmandu, Nepal
As well as being the capital of Nepal and its largest city, Kathmandu is the arrival point for majority of the visitors to Nepal, and is often used as a base of operations when traveling to the outlying regions of the Terai and lowland jungles or the high-altitude trekking areas of Annapurna and Everest. Spreading across most of the Kathmandu Valley area, the capital city is a massive urban agglomeration that includes the cities of Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Madhyapur, Thimi, and Bhaktapur with a population of more than five million people.
In the city there is also the Durbar Royal Square, the Royal Family Palace in Nepal, and Nepal is recognized as the only Hindu Kingdom in the world as nearly 80 percent of the population is Hindu. But the Hinduism in Népal is tinged with Buddhist practices and priests, which make it unique in the world, with the presence of Buddhism in the country and the place of birth of Buddha.
While the Katmandu Valley is potentially home to thousands of temples, some of them are considered most important and are the most popular tourist sights of the Kathmandu Valley. Below are some of the main temples of Nepal’s Hinduism, which are worth visiting on your Nepal trip.
1. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the four major temples of the Nepali Hinduism and was built in the 5th Century and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple site is known to be a holy site for many centuries, and a lingam of Siva was located there at the end of the first century AD, about 5 kilometers to the northwestern end of Kathmandu town’s centre. History states that in around 400 BC, when Pashupati, the lord of all Pashus, resided there as a deity there, there was a temple on the site.
The central roof is adorned with a pagoda theme and is gilded with the four sides of the temple coated in silver. The complex consists of dozens of other smaller temples around the main temple devoted to the various Buddhist and Hindu deities.
Located on the banks of the Bagmati, at the end of the 14th century the main Temple of Pashupatinat was overrun by termites. The Lichhavi king, Shupuspa, and the rest were built again in the 15th century. In the years after then the other temples were built.
2. Swayambhunath Temple
The wide temple dome symbolizes the whole world and the eyes drawn on the cubicle above the dome are a sign of awareness and love that allows you to achieve the state of illumination. The shrine of Swayambhu is from the 5th CE century. Legend has it that the Valley of Kathmandu was once filled with a lake and the temple was formed from a lotus which flowered in the centre, which means ‘self-made.’
Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the “monkey temple,” stands on top of a small hill northwest of the Kathmandu River, due to the holy monkeys who live in the northwest of the temple. The hill is situated only 3 kilometers from the edge of Kathmandu City, and the Temple is considered to be one of the holiest Buddhist Chaityas in Nepal, which provides some of the most stunning views of the Kathmandu Valley below.
3. Budhanilkantha Temple
A farmer and his wife were trapped on the stone, according to local legend, when rising ground, and blood began to flow. This culminated in Budhanilkantha ‘s discovery of the water concept, which floats in the sea. The statue was brought to Kathmandu during Vishnu Gupta ‘s rule in the 17th century, according to another myth.
Tons of pilgrims visit Kathmandu to attend the Haribondhini Ekadashi Mela on the 11th day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October / November) to wake up from very long sleep on Lord Vishnu.
4. Changu Narayan temple
One of the oldest temples in the Kathmandu Valley, the Changu Narayan Temple is located on a small hill around 12 kilometers to the east of Kathmandu. The temple is dedicated to Changu Narayan, one of the four incarnations of Lord Vishnu, just a bit off the beaten path for tourists. The earliest form of the temple was constructed in the 4th century from wood and metal, and has stood the test of time for more than 1,600 years.
The temple stands tall above its tiny hill and can be seen for miles above the rice paddies of Bhaktapur. Also one of the most spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains in the north.
Designed in a pagoda-like style and believed to consist of a single tree, this architectural masterpiece of Nepal, locally known as “Mara Sattal,” came to nothing during the 2015 earthquake. Recent plans to restore it have been delayed after civic and conservationist demonstrations demanded originality. The restoration has just began and is expected to be completed by 2021.
It is assumed that Kathmandu was called Kasthamandapa, the oldest temple of the Lichhavian age that was built in the 7th century – a evidence of its historic importance.
It is the most important Hindu site in Nepal. It is still abuzz, with pilgrims and sadhus (Hindu holy men), on the banks of the Bagmati River that flows through Kathmandu.
The Buddhist site or stupa in Kathmandu , Nepal, is Boudhanath. This is also Tibet ‘s largest and holiest Buddhist site outside Tibet itself. The stupa can be easily recognized through the massive, semicircular white dome and the towering spiral, with unblinkable eyes on each side that look in the four directions. The general form represents a Buddhist mandala and a direction of light as well as Mount Meru, the legendary center of the cosmos. According to Buddhist tradition, this site is said to hold the remains of the Kassapa Buddha, the 27th of the named Buddhas.