Well known as the land of Pashupatinath and Gautam Budhha, it is no surprise that Nepal has abundant religious temples that are worth a visit.
RINA KUMARI MANDAL
Well known as the land of Pashupatinath and Gautam Budhha, it is no surprise that Nepal has abundant religious temples that are worth a visit. With a perfect blend of different religions in Nepal, it is blessed with religious architectural marvels that are historically and culturally important in the country.
Here’s a list of 7 sacred places in Nepal which are mirrors to peek into the diverse religions and culture of Nepal.
One of the holiest Hindu shrines in Nepal, the Pashupatinath Temple is stretched across both the banks of the beautiful and sacred Bagmati River on the eastern fringes of the capital city of Kathmandu.
Listed under the UNESCO cultural heritage sites the magnificent sanctum devoted to Lord Shiva draws in thousands of devotees who come to offer prayers and seek blessings from him from all around the world. Home to many sages and temples, it is believed that the Jyotirlinga housed in the Pashupatinath temple is the head of the body which is made up of the twelve Jyotirlinga in India.
Maya Devi Temple
One of the most ancient Buddhist Temples, the Maya Devi Temple is one of the most well-known temples is also known as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.
Located right next to the sacred pool called Pushkarini and a sacred garden, this temple marks the spot where Maya Devi gave birth to Gautam Buddha and the archaeological remains of this place date back to the time of Ashoka, around the 3rd century BC. The historical landmarks and its continuous development make it a must-visit attraction and place of Buddhist pilgrimage.
Also referred to as Swayambhunath Stupa, and the Swayambhu Maha Chaitya, this holy place of worship has been in existence for several centuries and has overlooks the greater portion of the Kathmandu Valley.
Owing to the monkeys which have made the area around the complex their permanent abode, this temple has also earned the quirky nickname of "Monkey Temple".
With a white dome stupa and an array of shrines, make sure to climb the 365 steps to reach the top and take in the picturesque, panoramic view of the capital city of Kathmandu.
Built-in the Lichhavi period, the Changu Narayan Temple is said to be the oldest Hindu temple in the Kathmandu Valley. There are many temples spread across Kathmandu Valley and most of them date back to the Malla era. But this is one temple in the valley that was built before the Malla period.
Perched on a hill, standing splendidly over the rice fields of Bhaktapur, the Changu Narayan Temple has a history that dates back to around 3000 years. Having many stone carvings and wood carvings the temple reflects ancient Nepal through its architecture.
Famous for its enigmatic stone carved statue of Lord Vishnu in a resting position, the open-air Budhanilkantha Temple is definitely an architectural marvel of Nepal. The statue, which is over 1000 years old, is carved out of a single block of black stone and lies in a recessed pool of water.
Legend states that 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 the Budhanilkantha deity which floats in water.
Thousands of pilgrims visit this spiritual site during. The Haribondhini Ekadashi Mela, which takes place on the 11th day of Hindu month of Kartik celebrates the awakening of Lord Vishnu from a very long sleep.
Dedicated to Goddess Sita, Janaki Mandir is the biggest temple in Nepal. The dominant tourist attraction of Janakpur is constructed at the place where Goddess Sita was born.
The attraction is now considered as a religiously important monument and a heritage site but is still an active temple for devotees. Anybody seeking a slice of the legend of Ramayana must visit the divine Janaki Temple. A visit during festivals like the Ram Navami, Vivah Panchami, Dashain, Deepavali, and Holi is the perfect way to discover the true beauty of Janakpur city.
In Nepal you can never run out of spiritual places to visit. And yet most of them are old temples with the same archaic architecture and follow a typical path of devotion.
Shashwat Dham, on the other hand, is completely different, both in terms of ambiance and philosophy practiced in the establishment. The sprawling expanse of Shashwat Dham spreads over 12 acres of land. Given the central shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva, this could be a subtle token of reference to the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva that we know of.
Shashwat Dham is not only about worship and rituals. It is a "living center of excellence for spiritual learning". It is popular among visitors for its magnificent architecture and evening light shows.