Nyatapola Temple

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Time Required : 1 - 2 hours

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Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur Overview

Nyatapola Temple is an 18th-century temple located in Bhaktapur, Nepal. It is the tallest building in the valley and the tallest temple in the country. The temple was built in 1702 and is dedicated to Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. The idol of the Goddess, which is installed in the sanctum sanctorum, is believed to be extremely fearsome. Although only the temple priests enter the sanctum sanctorum, visitors can explore the rest of the temple. The monument has survived two major earthquakes in the region and has suffered minor damages. It is also, therefore, known for its structural strength.

Nyatapola Temple was built during the reign of King Bhupatindra Malla. He belonged to the Malla Dynasty and ruled Bhaktapur between 1692 and 1722. The temple has traditional pagoda-style architecture with a five-storey roof that makes it a strikingly tall building in the region. It took about seventeen months to build the temple during the time. The Goddess it is dedicated to is believed to be Tantric and hence, is also called Tantric Lakshmi.

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Architecture of the Nyatapola Temple

Nyatapola Temple is built according to the traditional pagoda style of architecture. The monument has a five-tiered roof. From the bottom till the top of the pagodas, it measures about 30 metres tall. The Temple is placed over five platforms or terraces built one on top of the other. Right in the middle of the yard, a stone staircase stretches leading to the temple entrance. Each level has stone statues of mythical protectors, elephants and tigers on either side. Inside, there is a sanctum sanctorum where the idol of the Goddess is placed. Across the remaining temple, Goddess and legendary incarnations in relation the goddess are carved.

Legend of the Nyatapola Temple

According to a legend, Lord Bhairava/ Lord Shiva was once causing havoc in the region. Seeking help, the people called upon Goddess Parvati to help them. The Goddess appeared in the avatar of Siddhi Lakshmi. She is said to be more potent than Lord Bhairava and carried him to control him. The temple was thus built in her honour. And because she is believed to be stronger than Lord Bhairava, her Temple was made to be sturdier and taller than the Bhairava Temple located nearby.

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