Krishna Mandir

Krishna Mandir, Patan Overview

Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur, Nepal was a cultural stronghold of the Malla kings of Kathmandu valley. Most of the buildings present here reflect the history and evolution of Nepal’s culture over the years, especially the temples and shrines. The courtyard has both Hindu and Buddhist establishment scattered all over its vast expanse.

One of the major Hindu temples present here is the Krishna Mandir. Built by one of the great Malla kings, Siddhi Narsingh, the temple holds an extraordinary and revered place in the Hindu community of Nepal.
Carved entirely in dark stone, the beautiful structure of the Krishna Mandir consists of several significant sculptures and carvings on its outside walls as well as on the interior walls. Inside, there are shrines of Lord Krishna with his consorts and Lord Shiva too, which draw a large number of Hindu devotees to the temple every day.
Whether you are religious or spiritual beliefs or interested in old architectural marvels or both, the Krishna Mandir of Patan Square will leave your heart content.

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Architectural Highlights

Structural Elements
The structure of the Krishna Mandir follows the Indian Subcontinental architectural style known as the Shikhara style. Highlights of this form of architecture include the structure that spirals up from the temple’s roof right above the sanctum sanctorum. It follows the traits of a local Nepali style called Granthakuta.
Three Tiers of the Mandir
There are three tiers inside the Krishna Mandir. The first floor is dedicated to Lord Krishna himself, who stands with his paramour Srimati Radha and wife Queen Rukmini on each side. At the second floor, there is a shrine and lingam dedicated to Lord Shiva, keeping up with the trend of Hari and Hara being inextricably entwined in the Hindu pantheon. The third floor is empty now more or less except for the pillars and carvings, but it is believed to have housed a shrine for Avalokiteshwara, a collective consciousness of all Buddhas.
Mahabharat Depiction
From the courtyard, you can witness the story of Mahabharata depicted in carvings on the first-floor beam carvings. Further up on the second-floor beam, the story of Ramayana is chiselled on stone. Facing the temple is a statue of Krishna’s loyal vahana, the man-bird Garuda sits on a column.

Legend of the Krishna Mandir

It is believed that the inception of the table was based on a dream that King Siddhi Narsingh Malla dreamt. The dream composed of him seeing Lord Krishna and his eternal consort Srimati Radha standing in front of his palace, which used to be the Patan Durbar back then. To give life to his dream and pay his respects, he instructed the construction of the temple at the very spot he saw them standing in his dream. The temple was completed and inaugurated in the year 1637.

Traveller Tips and Advice

  • Since it is a Hindu establishment, non-Hindus are not allowed inside the shrine. However, everyone can enjoy the temple from the outside, click the picture and the likes.
  • The temple is thronged with people during the festival of Lord Krishna’s birth, that is Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami, sometime around August-September.
  • While it is not the ideal time to go if you do not like crowds.
  • But at the same time, the entire site decks up in lamps, lights and decorations - so it is the most beautiful during this time of the year.

How To Reach Krishna Mandir

Krishna Mandir is a 11-minute drive from the Nepal Border Central Office, via the Bangalamukhi Road. You could also take a half-hour walk from the Office, through the Shrinkala Galli to reach Krishna Mandir.

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