Temple in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal Temple and dwellings merge into one another in what must be one of the world’s most bewitching urban landscapes. Every byway in the Kathmandu valley turns up religious icons. Like Bhaktapur’s Jamuna goddess, mounted on a turtle.
5 Historical temple in Kathmandu
- Seto Machhendranath Temple
- Bodhnath Temple
- Changu Narayan Temple
- Swayambhunath Temple
- Pashupatinath Temple
Seto Machhendranath Temple
At the other end of the Chowk, to the east past, a small shrine smeared with blood is one of Nepal’s most revered temples. Seto Machhendranath is at the center of a monastic courtyard. With its entrance guarded by two splendid brass lions.
Each evening, beneath the porch that leads to the courtyard, groups of musicians gather and chant sacred verses. Gazing at the temple as it rises behind a for the ground of steles, Chaityas (smaller stupas) and carved pillars. It has a copper roof that glows in the evening sun.
The shrine guards the image of Kathmandu valley’s most compassionate deity, Padmapani Avalokiteshvara. It also is known as Jammadyo or Machhendra. Once a year, around March and April, the image is taken from the temple for chariot processions through the city during the Seto Machhendra festival. It was built at an unknown date. The temple was restored in the early seventeenth century.
Around the inside courtyard are many shops selling a variety of goods. Such as wool, paper prints, cloth, string, ribbons, beads, curios, Nepali caps, and pottery. Near the temple, on a street corner has a small Tantric temple. It’s the three-storied Lunchun Lunbun Ajima. Which carries, between portraits of the king and queen, erotic carvings.
For all its size, Swayambhunath takes second place to a stupa northeast of the capital. Dedicated to Bodhnath, the god of wisdom, it’s the largest stupa in Nepal. An immense mound surrounded by a self-contained Tibetan township and ringed by the inevitable prayer wheels. Each given a twirl as devotees circle the shrine clockwise.
Most worshippers here are from Tibet. The Bodhnath lama is said to be a reincarnation of the original Dalai Lama. For the stupa’s obscure origins are tenuously linked to Lhasa, the ancestral home of the now exiled spiritual leader.
Legend says the stupa was constructed by the daughter of a swineherd, a woman named Kangnam. She asked the king of Nepal for as much land as the hide of a buffalo would cover on which to build the stupa. When the king agreed, Kangma sliced the hide into thin ribbons. Which were joined into one and laid out to form the square in which the stupa stands?
Legend says that a relic of the Buddha lies within the solid dome, which symbolizes water and is reached by 13 steps. Again symbolizing the 13 stages of enlightenment from which the monument derives its name, both meaning enlightenment, and Nath, meaning god.
Temple in Kathmandu Valley
Saffron and magenta-robed Tibetan monks celebrate their colourful rituals with worshippers chanting prayer verse, mantras and clapping their hands as travellers. Especially those heading for the high Himalayas, seek blessings for their journey.
With about 5,000 exiles living in the Kathmandu valley has a distinctly Tibetan ambience. There are several new monasteries in the Bodhnath region. One in the form of a castle, on the forested slopes beside Gorakhnath cave. This monastery guards the footprints of a fourteenth-century sage who lived in the cave as a hermit.
Not far from this cave, the Tibetans have built another monastery. Commemorating the memory of Guru Padma Rimpoche Sambhava, a saint who rode down to Kathmandu from Tibet to conquer a horde of demons.
Changu Narayan Temple