Nepal is a nation with a diverse culture. Hindus make up the majority of the population despite the nation being secular. And we can observe that people in Nepal have a strong belief in God. Kings have long practiced devout worship and built numerous temples nationwide. These temples are the subject of various mythologies, and there are numerous legends surrounding them. Some temples have such compelling legends that people go there despite how difficult it is to get there geographically.
Temples are an integral part of almost every nation’s identity. Capital of Nepal is referred to as the city of temples, and Nepal is famed for its countless temples. There are several temples all around the nation, not just in the capital. We list several well-known mythological temples throughout the nation in this article.
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Pashupatinath, a Hindu deity, is regarded as watching over the country. Pashupatinath is well-known among all devotees of Hinduism worldwide, not just in Nepal. Thousands of worshippers come to this temple yearly with unshakeable faith and respect for God. The name Pashupatinath means “God of all pashus” or “all living things” in the world. Pashupatinath is revered as the world’s supreme living being.
The temple of Lord Pashupatinath, who is regarded as the nation’s national deity, is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River in Gaushala, Kathmandu, and was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.
Existence of Pashupatinath
The temple was renovated in the 19th century by King Prachanda Dev after the previous building was damaged by termites. It is not known when the temple was built. However, its existence dates back to 400 BC. Over time many temples have been built on its premises, and the temple has been renovated time and again. People have a lot of devotion toward Lord Pashupatinath, and every year on Maha Shivaratri, thousands of devotees from all over the world come to this temple. It is believed that any Hindu must visit the Pashupatinath temple once in his lifetime.
Budhanilkantha Temple, located at the base of the Shivpuri Hills, is treasured in Nepal. Budhanilkantha is famous for the stone sculpture of Lord Vishnu resting on a snake bed. The statue, which is 5 meters long, is situated in a lake that symbolizes the cosmos. A single basalt stone block was used to create the statue, which is a work of art in sculpture. The “Sleeping Vishnu” history dates back to the fifth century. A farmer found the statue when the Malla Dynasty was in power. The sculpture’s beautiful artwork is a feast for the eyes. As a result, this place of worship draws both Hindu pilgrims.
A major fair is held on the auspicious day of Haribondhini Ekadashi, which symbolizes Lord Vishnu’s waking from his long rest.
Swayambhunath is another UNESCO world heritage site listed in Nepal. It lies on the top of a hill in the west of Kathmandu Valley. This temple shows the perfect harmony between the two major religions in the country, i.e., Buddhism and Hinduism.
Swoyambhunath is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for both Buddhists and Hindus. The religious architecture has a stupa, Shrines, and temples existing from the Licchhavi period.
The stupa has Buddha eyes denoting peace, and there lies the temple of Hindu gods and goddesses. Swayambhunath is also famous for the palm trees that grow on the hill. People say the trees are also holy, and they believe that the trees grow by themselves. For all the Buddhist flowers in Tibet and Nepal, Swayambhunath is the second most sacred pilgrimage after Boudhanath Stupa. The temple is quite popular among tourists as a monkey temple. The name comes after the hundreds of monks that inhibit the hill of Swayambhunath.
Manakamana temple is another sacred temple in Nepal that lies in the Gorkha district of Nepal.
It is the temple of goddess Manakamana, who is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Parvati, the better half of lord Mahadeva. The name translates to â€˜ the goddess that makes every wish come true. Devotees believe that any wish made to the goddess by a pure heart comes true. The temple has existed since the 17th century and has been a pilgrimage site for many Hindus all over the country.
The temple lies at the top of a hill, 12 km south of Gorkha. Previously people used to walk those hills to reach the temple, but now there are many facilities. The country’s first cable car is on this hill that reaches up to the temple. People now reach the temple via cable car and also off roads that go up to the temple.
Many people also visit the temple just for the cable car experience since it is the first cable car in the country. Temple is situated around 140 kilometers away from the capital. Manakamana temple also offers an extraordinary view from the top.
Legend of Manakamana
The legend of the Manakamana Goddess dates back to the reign of the Gorkha king Ram Shah during the 17th century. The legend of the temple goes back to the 17th century when Ram Shah used to rule over Gorkha. His queen had divine powers, and her only devotee, which only her devotee Lakhan Thapa was aware of this.
One day, the King saw his queen in Goddess incarnation and devotee Lakhan Thapa in the form of a lion. After witnessing that King died at that moment and the queen had to die with the King following Sati Pratha.
However, a goddess in the form of a Queen promised her devotee that she would re-appear very soon. Six months later, a farmer found a stream of blood and milk flowing from a stone while he was plowing his field. Lakhan Thapa, after knowing about this incident, immediately performed different rituals to bring back the goddess.
The temple today lies on the same site, and people worship the same stone to this date. Manakamana is home to the goddess. Since Lakhan Thapa was the true devotee goddess, people still allowed only descendants of Lakhan Thapa to be a priest of the temple.
One of the holiest temples in Nepal is dedicated to Pathibhara Devi, also known by the name Pathivara Mai. In the lives of the Limbu People, this location has a label. For the Limbu people, Pathivara Mai is a sacred location; nevertheless, all Hindus in the nation revere it as well.
Every year, devotees from India and Nepal travel to the temple in the hope that goddess Pathivara will grant their wishes. It is located in the Taplejung district’s hill. According to popular belief, the goddess Pathivara accepts gifts of animals, gold, and silver. People present the goddess with those offerings. According to local shepherds’ folklore, flocks of sheep were lost while grazing.
All the lost animals were later found when the animal sacrifice was offered. That is how the ritual of animal sacrifice started in the temple. Later on, locals built a temple in the same place.
The Bindabasini Temple is unique and is located in a popular tourist area of Nepal, Pokhara. This revered site is the perfect place to find peace in a busy area. The Machapuchare and Annapurna Ranges, at an elevation of 3000 feet, are home to the temple, which is tucked away on a hilltop. It is dedicated to Ma Durga, who is frequently thought of as Pokhara’s protector deity. Here, she is revered as Bhagwati, the ferocious goddess. Animal sacrifices are made on Tuesdays and Saturdays to please her.
The pagoda-style temple is thought to have been constructed by King Khadag Bum Malla at Devi Durga’s request. The Saligram at the center of the shrine represents the goddess. Visitors from India and Nepal come in great numbers during the auspicious event of Dashain. Visitors come to this magnificent temple, surrounded by rich greenery, to spend time among the lovely scenery and take in the spectacular views.
At the height of 3710 meters, the famous Muktinath Temple is located on the flank of the snow-capped mountains. The pagoda-style building in such a beautiful setting is a visual delight. This temple has a history of being one of the 24 tantric locations, according to Tibetan Buddhists. Consequently, it is very important to the “Dakinis” (sky dancers). One of the holy shrines, referred to as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras, is the major shrine of Sri Muktinath. The gold idol, which is tall enough to be compared to a person, is constructed in the image. The pilgrims are required to provide an offering to the deity during the devotion, held in the sight of a Buddhist monk.
Muktinath Temple is the greatest destination in Nepal to learn about Tibetan culture and traditions. You can easily combine a trip to Muktinath Temple with a few other attractions in Jomsom, such as the view tower and the Mustang Eco-Museum. Jomsom is a fantastic location to learn more about Thakali culture.
Baglung Kalika Temple
One of the most famous Kali temples in Nepal is the Baglung Kalika Temple. It is situated high above the Kali Gandaki River in the middle of a dense forest and is commonly referred to as the Kalika Bhagwati Temple. One of the most potent symbols of Devi Durga and the companion of Lord Shiva is Kali.
Tantrics from all over the world attend the temple in addition to Hindu pilgrims to learn. Devotees from all over Nepal travel here to celebrate Navratri and perform puja to please the goddess. The followers carry out the rituals to win court cases, win over a loved one, or defeat rivals.