10 Primeval Temples In Kathmandu - Encounter The Intangible Past!

Be it the pagoda-style structures displaying architectural genius or intricate carvings on the walls and roofs, elaborate rituals or a fascinating jumble of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, the temples in Nepal with a sizeable Hindu population, coexisting with a Buddhist community and people with other religious beliefs will blow your mind. You can't afford to miss these sacred places with historical importance!

Here's a list of 8 sacred temples in the Kathmandu District that you can visit on your Nepal trip:

1. Pashupatinath Temple

This pagoda-style temple is cubic, with its four main doors covered with silver sheets and two-storeyed roof made of pure copper and gold. You will spot a colossal brass statue of Nandi Bull from the western gate and a unique, four-headed lingam inside the shrine. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the compound of the main temple, while all the other parts are open to all. According to the popular legend, the origins of Pashupatinath Temple lie in a mound where a cow offered her milk daily. Out of curiosity, a farmer dug at the spot and discovered a linga with Shiva's faces carved on it, emitting a very bright light. Later, a shrine was built, dedicated to this incarnation of Shiva.

: Open all days - 4:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Pashupatinath Temple

2. Swayambhunath Temple

The large dome of the temple symbolizes the entire world, and the eyes painted on a cubicle above the dome represent wisdom and compassion, which helps one reach the state of enlightenment. Swayambhu Temple dates back to the 5th century CE. Legend has it that the Kathmandu Valley was once filled with a lake and the temple was born out of a lotus that bloomed in the middle, the name meaning 'Self-created'.

Timings: Open all days - 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM. Entry fee is NPR 200 

Swayambhunath temple, <a href=Temples of Kathmandu" width="700" height="467" data-mce-src="https://www.holidify.com/images/cmsuploads/compressed/swayambhunath_20180710135128.jpg">

3. Budhanilkantha Temple

According to the local legend, a farmer and his wife once stuck the statue while cultivating the land and blood started to flow. This led to the discovery of the water figure of Budhanilkantha deity which floats in water. Another legend states that the statue was brought to Kathmandu during the reign of Vishnu Gupta in the seventeenth century. Thousands of pilgrims visit Kathmandu to attend the Haribondhini Ekadashi Mela, which takes place on the 11th day of Hindu month of Kartik (October / November) and celebrate the awakening on Lord Vishnu from a very long sleep.

Timings: Open all days - 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM. For Darshana, visit between 4:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Budhanilkantha Temple, Temples in Kathmandu

4. Dakshinkali Temple

Timings: Open all days - 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Dakshinkali Temple, Temples of Kathmandu

5. Guhyeshwari Temple

Only Hindus are allowed to enter the shrine where the goddess is worshipped in a water container called Kalash, which is covered with a layer of silver and gold. Built in the Bhutanese pagoda-style architecture, the exterior of the temple is quite simple, but the walls and pillars are adorned with flower motifs and beautiful patterns.  

Timing: Open all days - 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Guhyeshwari Temple, Temples in kathmandu

6. Jagannath (Krishna) Temple

Timings: Open all days - 24 hours

Jagannath <a href=Krishna Temple, Temples of kathmandu" width="700" height="525" data-mce-src="https://www.holidify.com/images/cmsuploads/compressed/jagannath-temple-nepal-bhubaneswar-buzz_20180710135818.jpg">

7. Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple

Timings: Attend the musical concert on full moon nights, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple, Temples in Kathmandu

8. Kasthamandapa

This architectural marvel of Nepal, locally known as Maru Sattal, built in pagoda-style architecture and believed to be made out of a single tree, collapsed during the 2015 earthquake. The initial attempts at its reconstruction were put off due to protests from public and conservationists demanding originality. The rebuilding has now kicked off and will certainly be completed by 2021.

It is believed that Kathmandu got its name from Kasthamandapa, which may have been built in the 7th century, the oldest temple built in the Lichhavi period - proving its historical significance.

Kasthamandapa Temple, Temples of Kathmandu
Ruins of the temple after the earthquake (Source)

9. Taleju Temple


The magnificent Taleju temple, located in Durbar Square of Kathmandu, is dedicated to the clan Goddess of Malla kings, Devi Taleju Bhawani. Traditionally, entry into the temple was restricted to kings but has now been extended to the Hindus. It is believed that the temple was constructed in the shape of a Yantra, as was directed by the Devi herself. In the middle of Durbar Square, the temple, set atop a pedestal, is a stunning sight that reminds people of its rich heritage and cannot be missed even when the square is bustling with activities. The Degu Taleju Temple is not open to all. However, on the special occasion of Dasain, devotees can enter to offer prayers to the Goddess. The rest of the time, tourists can explore the shrine from the outside.

10. Boudhanath Stupa


Watching over Kathmandu like a guardian angel, the Boudhanath Stupa dominates the skyline with its gargantuan spherical shape. The massive mandala of this magisterial stupa makes it the largest in Nepal and the continent. Situated at a distance of about 11 kilometres from the central region and the northeastern outskirts of the capital city of Kathmandu, the stupa receives many devotees of different religions who bow their heads in humble prayers or come to seek refuge around it. Very few places match the beauty of the Boudhanath Stupa. Thousands of pilgrims gather here on a daily basis and immerse themselves in performing a ritualistic circumnavigation, known as the 'kora', of the colossal dome. It is believed that anyone who prostrates in front of the stupa and circumambulates it with no ill thoughts in their hearts receives good karma. Moreover, the gates of Hell are permanently closed to them, and they are also saved from being reincarnated in the lower realms.

You can visit these temples to find peace or witness the powerful faith of people, or just touch the intangible past. Temples are, after all, centers of faith and faith is quite powerful!

This post was published by Pranjali Kureel

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