Nepal is the country which has one of the most exotic destinations of the world with adventure, cultural, pilgrimage and wildlife travel packages. Mostly known as the Land of Everest, or the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha. It has a variety of attractions to keep tourists coming back for more with its lofty mountains, deep valleys, lush jungles, exotic wildlife and diverse peoples.
The Kathmandu valley, the political, commercial cultural hub of Nepal is famed for its natural beauty and historic, holistic place. The valley is rich in places of pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists. Both of their deities well side by side by both tantric symbolism and ancient animistic beliefs.
A very old Hindu text has described Kathmandu as the land of gods surrounded by beautiful mountain around. It is said that there were as many temples as there were house and many idols as there were people. In fact Kathmandu boasts one of the largest congregations of magnificent historical monuments and shrines ever built.
Situated in the lap of Himalayas, Nepal has been renowned for centuries as a pristine place for religion, peace and salvation. Nepal has been enjoying the honor of being the place of penance and spiritual gratification for sages, saints and rishis for the time immemorial. It is the place where centuries old temples of several Hindu gods and goddesses, sitting on the banks of holy rivers: Bagmati, Koshi and Gandaki, continue to attract devotees from far and wide; where many tributaries of holy Ganga originate from snow-capped Himalayas flowing down to Indian plains; where bountiful Nature shelters sages meditating at the foot hills of Luminous mountains or by side of tranquil holy waters; where the apostle of peace Lord Buddha, was born 2,500 years ago; where puranas (Hindu Holy Scriptures) praise each of the hundreds of temples and monasteries spread across the country; and where diversity thrives in harmony.
Place of Interest
As religion is a source of civilization and culture in every society and country, its importance is always on the rise. It is well known that Nepal harbors four major Hindu religious sites: Mukti Kshetra, Pashupat Kshetra, Barah Kshetra and Baidyanath Kshetra and the holiest Buddhist site: Lumbini. In addition to that, Nepal is a place where various ethnic groups with different religious practices live in perfect harmony. The aura and glory of Nepal have been enhanced especially because of the temple of Lord Pashupatinath and the birthplace of the Lord Buddha (“The Light of Asia”), Lumbini. A large number of tourists from different parts of the world especially South Asia and South East Asia visit Nepal every year as pilgrims .Thus, pilgrimage tourism has been growing as a prominent tourism sector in recent times.
Religion and Nature are complementary entities and Nepal offers uniquely varied experiences to the tourists with her rich natural and cultural resources. Mountains, rivers, forests, flora and fauna and different festivals and cultural practices have astonishing importance in both touristic purposes: pilgrimage and entertainment /adventures.
Thus, Nepal has a unique and unrivalled glory because of the wide spectrum of values and experiences ranging from religious, ethnic, linguistic, cultural diversity to soft and hard adventures. All flavors and have an experience of a life time in the Himalayan land.
Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. Although the Pashupatinath Temple was only built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, the holy site is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium.
A gold-plated roof, four silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda temple of Pashupatinath. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath. Nearby is the temple of Guheshwori dedicated to Shiva’s consort Sati Devi. Behind the temple is the River Bagmati. On the banks of Bagmati are raised platforms used as cremation sites for Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Pashupatinath courtyard.
Some important monuments to see in this area are: Gorakhnath, Rajrajeswari, Pancha-Dewal, Bankali, Arya-Ghat, Birupakchhya
Pashupatinath is the other popular name of Shiva. Shiva in the form of Rudra was imagined by the early Aryans and later was worshipped in the form of a Linga, a Phallus, a vertical piece of stone placed in an upward position on a round pedestal. The Indus Valley civilisation in Pakistan has shown that the peo- ple there worshipped Shiva in the form of a Linga in about the 3rd century BC. Besides south Asia, archaeological excavations in some ancient cities of Europe have revealed that the linga-worship cult ex- isted there too.
Pashupatinath, in a limited sense, literally means the Lord of the Animals. But animal is also a term that denotes the animal like instincts in human beings. Capable of destroying instantly every evil force either with his trident or the third eye, when it comes to his devotees, the Lord Pashupatinath destroys their igno- rance. Be it an issue of material gain or release from the cycle of mortal existence he is the height of compassion, generosity, as well as consciousness.
Shiva has been worshipped in Nepal from the beginning of the Neolithic civilisation in the Kathmandu Valley, with scientific archaeological studies and findings around the temple proving that the god Pashupatinath was worshipped here from about the beginning of the Christian era. From about the 7th century onwards it became the first and foremost temple of Nepal, with kings, aristocrats and the rich offering a great deal of wealth and land in trust to the god, making it one of the richest temples in Nepal. Many temples and stat- ues around the temple were added making it a big complex rather than just a temple. The main God or the Linga of Pashupatinath is carved on a blackish stone, with four faces engraved on four sides of the Linga.
Nepal is constitutionally a Hindu kingdom so non- Hindus cannot enter the temple, although Buddhists can. But no one is allowed to enter the inner sanctum except the Bhattas, the main priests who come from the south of India. The temple starts swarming with devotees around 4am every morning. However the top of the hill to the east of the temple is the ideal place for the non Hindu visitor to view the temple, its rich surroundings, and below on the edge of the Bagmati river the ghats where the dead are brought to be cremated Situated on the top of a small hill about 15 kilometers east of Kathmandu and only a few miles north of Bhaktapur, the temple of Changu Narayan is perhaps the best and oldest in the context of Nepa- lese art and architecture. Built around 239 A.D., it s not only the temple but the whole complex which is an open air museum – breathtaking and bewildering in character.
Another famous temple among Hindus situated next to Pashupati Temple and surrounded by a wood called Shleshamantak Van (the forest of citrus fruits) is Satidevi, a beloved wife of Lord Shiva, fell apart while Lord Shiva maddened with grief over the death of the wife, kept walking wildly bearing her decaying body on his shoulder. It is one out of 51 Shaktipeethas of Satidevi. It is believed that Lord Indra, the king of the Heaven along with other gods had resided at ease at this place. Devout can find their inner wishes turn into reality.
Satidevi is described as the one with red complexion, eyes like red lotus petals, clad in red attire, and seated on red lotus. Guhya (Secret) symbolizes the inner pain and sorrowful conditions one is forced to endure in this life. She is also worshipped as a power, Shakti, which heals the hidden pain.
Located at eastern part of Kathmandu on the way to Sundarijal, Gokarna holds a distinct religious status because it is the place where Lord Brahma worshipped Lord Shiva by setting up a deer’s horn as a Shivalinga. The deer was no other than Shiva himself in disguise. So it is also called Brahmashrama.
Its sacredness has been further enhanced due to another specialty: confluence of Chandrabhaga and Bagmati river and is popularly known as North Ganga. It is more celebrated as a shrine of departed forefathers.
It is believed that the dead spirits ascend to Heaven if we offer panda holy rounded ball of cooked rice offered to departed soul in a rite called shradda at this place. Its importance is equal to ten Gayas.
Changu Narayana is one of the most ancient places of pilgrimage in Kathmandu valley where god Almighty (Narayana- bearer of universe with all terrestrial and celestial things) resides at the pray of gods and goddesses. Narayana is another name of Lord Vishnu and this temple dates back around 2 millennia from now. It bears the testimony that the state religion of ancient Nepal was Vaishnavism, a sect in Hinduism later revitalized by Ramanuja, the philosopher and preacher in South India, towards the end of 11th century A.D. This is the only pilgrimage site which bears the first record of historical testimony with date. The garuda dhoja, a tall column of stone inscription, erected by Manadeva, the famous Lichchhavi King of ancient Nepal, in 464 A.D. reads:
The greatest god, Lord Vishnu, resides in Dolashikhar (the swing like hill, called Changu in local tongue) at the pray of other gods handling the movement of all three worlds: celestial, terrestrial and sub-terrestrial; so beautifully adorned by kunch shell and heavenly wheel insignia at his hands emerging from lotus colored broad chest sprinkling bliss and heavenly ecstasy on humans on earth.
It is believed that every Wednesday, Badri Narayana visits this place. So milk pudding (payasum) is offered on this day. Besides, the hill top area of the temple commands the whole view of Kathmandu valley, as it lies in Bhaktapur bordering Kathmandu district in mid-eastern part of the valley. There are so many gods and goddesses around the main temple telling legendary stories and historical incidents and time honored traditions. There is an unfinished stone carving of elephant which sweats occasionally when uncalled upheavals and disasters are going to happen in the valley. There are countless romantic episodes associated with Changu Narayana.
Hello Arya, look! Lord Vishnu is reclining against Shesha (the name of a prominent serpent), holding in four hands Shankha (kunch shell),Chakra (wheel like device), Gada (club) and Padma (lotus).One who with a firm belief visits the place and worships god will enjoy the life on earth and will go to Baikuntha, abode of Lord Vishnu. Lying at the north –east of Kathmandu, this temple has the largest image of Reclining Vishnu in the world.
An antique Buddhist stupa, situated atop a green shrouded hillock at the west of Kathmandu is very famous among both Hindus and Buddhists alike.
Swoyambhu literally means ‘Self-Existent One.’ Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swoyambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site. Boudhanath where foreign visitors’ esp. Buddhists are usually crowded. It is the centre of Lamaism where Buddhist texts are taught to young monks.
The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati – the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the stupa complex.
Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue.
Some important monuments to see in this area are
Swoyambhunath seen on hill-top from east, The huge gold plated Vajra set in the east side of the stupa, Buddha statue at the backside of Swoyambhu, The temple dedicated to Harati, the goddess of all children. It is said that she was an ogress before Lord Buddha converted her to be the caretaker of all children, who is now worshipped. The Dewa Dharma Monastery, noted for a bronze icon of Buddha and traditional Tibetan paintings.
The Dakshinkali temple is situated at the south west of Kathmandu City. Goddess Kali, one of the nine goddesses is believed to fulfill the wishes of the pilgrims. Animals are sacrificed in large number especially during Dashain, the biggest festival in Nepal. Devotees through at this place every day during the nine days (Navaratri) of Dashain Festival. Normally people visit the temple every Saturday and Tuesday. As the site is peaceful and is surrounded by rhododendron forests, it offers unique scenic and religious pleasure.
The temple of Bajrayogini is situated at Sankhu to the north-east of the Kathmandu City on the top of Manichud hill mentioned also in the holy book of Buddhism. The Guna monastery is also situated in the lap of this hill. So, both Hindus and Buddhists visit the place with equal reverence.
Large numbers of pilgrims visit this place especially on public holidays and during the nine days of Dashain
Gorkha is a scenic hill- town with great historical significance. King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified the Kingdom of Nepal during eighteenth century, was born in the township of Gorkha.
A 25 kilometer road off the main highway connecting Pokhara and Kathmandu brings you to an ancient Gorkha – the untouched and captivating town of Nepal! Some 300 years ago, Nepal was divided into 50 tiny states, and Gorkha was one of them. King Prithivi Narayan Shah, the founder of `Shah Dynasty’ which runs Nepal today, unified Nepal into one kingdom. His Gorkha palace resides on top of a hill at an altitude of 3281 feet (about 1000 meter) The King would watch-over his people as far as his eyes could see from the tallest palace in the very center of Nepal! Gorkha is also the home of Gurkhas – the legendary brave warriors who fought with knives against guns.
It offers panoramic view of, Himalayan range including spectacular view of Manaslu and snow-fed mountains, and panoramic views of the valleys. There is a beautiful old palace known as Gorkha Durbar. There are two attractive temples of Gorakhnath and Kali inside the palace precinct. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple of Gorakhanath.
Gorkha, located midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara Gorkha can be reached in about six hours from Kathmandu and in about four hours from Pokhara. either city by taxi or public bus A side trip to Manakamana on the way to Gorkha is very enjoyable and interesting.
Located at the top of a tall hill in Gorkha district of western Nepal, Manakamana temple is revered as that of the wish fulfilling Goddess. Several pilgrims from India and other parts of Nepal visit the temple every year. Unlike in other temples, the priest in the temples comes from an ethnic group, Magar, non-Brahmin caste. Regular cable car service has made the access to the temple much more feasible.
Located at the border of three districts: Tanahu, Chitwan and Nawalparasi, Devaghat is the confluence of three main holy rivers: Kali Gandaki, Seti Gandaki and Trishuli. This is one of Nepal’s most important pilgrimage sites which contain numerous temples and a famous cave. It is believed that one gets the blessing equal to many good deeds. Scholars say that the name originally came from Devaghat.
Kagbeni means literally” bolt at the two rivers” and formerly controlled the trade. One can see this past as a fortified village, as all the houses are build in a common rectangle which a common outer wall and just three little entrance doors. The former fortress is nowadays in ruins.
The name Kagbeni aptly reflects the town in Mustang district. Kagbeni is situated in the valley of the Kali Gandaki, 2900 m. altitude This river is one of three who cross the Himalayas. The Kali Gandaki was one of the major trading routes between Tibet and India. The traders brought the famous salt from Tibet and barley, spices and clothes from India. After the Chinese invasion in Tibet the trade came to a halt and many of the rich villages lost their revenue and later many people. Nowadays, there is again a some trade, but also now the income from Tourism.
Kagbeni is just a 2-hour side trek from the shortest route from Jomsom to Muktinath and 8 km far from Jomsom. But it is one of my favorite villages in the whole Annapurna region and it really a pity, if you miss it.
This holy place is famous for a respectful and well wishing offering to the manes (shradha) for Hindu. A Shradha at the confluence of Kag khola and river Kaligandagi at Kagbeni. Where the Hindu pilgrims go for funeral ceremony and an act of devotion. After worship in the shrine of lord Muktianth is heavenly and boon bestow here
Muktinath: Mukti (Salvation) Nath (god) holds great significance for all spiritual people in the south Asian sub continent. Muktinath (the provider of salvation) has been one such holy site, where thousands of devotees flock for attaining the much sought after moksha.
The famous Muktinath is a sacred place both for hindu and Buddhists located in Muktinath Valley lies in the district of Mustang and is situated about 20 kms. Northeast of Jomsom in the north central part of Nepal, at an altitude of about 3800 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass (part of the Himalayas). The site is close to the village Ranipauwa, which sometimes mistakenly is called Muktinath as well.
Named after highly referred Muktinath shrine the valley is one of religious place in Nepal for both Hindus and Buddhist. Hindus call it Muktichhetra (Place of salvation) is one of the four religious sites & It is also one of the 51 Sakti peetams.
Some people called this place Salagrama, Many Shaligrams found here are considered by Hindu as incarnation of lord Vishnu and worship them. According to Hindu Myth lord Vishnu turned into Shaligram because of Brinda’s Curse.
Similarly Buddhist calls this valley the Chumig Gyatsa which in Tibetan means ‘Hundred Waters’. For Tibetan Buddhists Muktinath-Chumig Gyatsa is a very important place of Dakinis, goddesses known as Sky Dancers and one of the 24 Tantric places. They understand the Murti to be a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.
It is believed that one should visit this temple after completing pilgrimage of four special religious sites, Chardham Yatra of India; Muktinath must be visited once
The temple is very small. Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu. The Pagoda style Muktinath Temple is symbol of the religious symbiosis between both Hindus and Buddhists. Hindu regards Muktinath as Vishnu where as Buddhists regard as Buddha. The main shrine of Muktinath is a pagoda – shaped temple dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. The statue is of gold and is tall enough to compare with a man. The Statue is of gold and is tall enough to compare with a man. The depicts metal statues of lord Vishnu, goddess Laxmi,Saraswoti, Janaki, Garuda, Lava-Kush and Sapta Rishis.
Behind the temple there are 108 waterspouts (Dhara) name of “Muktidhara”. The 108 faucets in the shape of a head of a bull, closely arranged in a semi-circle with a gap of hardly a foot between the faucets, at a height of seven feet. The water from Gandaki River continuously flowing through the mouth of the bull. Pilgrims who visit the temple take a holy bath in each of these spouts. But as the water is ice cold it requires burning desire and courage to take a holy bath here. Hindu devotees take bath under chilled water of 108 waterspouts “Muktidhara” believing that it brings them salvation.
Continuously burning flame “Jwala Mai Temple” sound of flowing river is situated south of Muktinath Temple. The Jwala Mai temple has a spring and there are three eternal flames “Holy flame from soil”, “Holy flame from rock” and “Holy flame from water” fed by natural gas. Currently two flames are continuously burning. Hindu believes that this miracle of fire lighting was offering made by Brahma, Hindus worship the fire as Jwala Mai (Lit. Goddess of fire). It is quite difficult to travel because of tough weather conditions.Only those who are willing to undergo physical discomfort and rigour can go to Muktinath. Above all, one should have the Grace of the Lord to visit Muktinath. There are many ways to reach Muktinath. One can fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then from Pokhara to Jomsom Airport. From there, one can either trek for 7-8 hours all the way or take a jeep to Muktinath. The charter helicopter services are available from Pokhara & Kathmandu all the way to Muktinath which takes around forty five minutes to reach from Pokhara and 1.30 hrs from Kathmandu.
Trek all the way from Pokhara through Kali-Gandaki valley, a trekking route one of famous treks name of Muktinath, Which takes 7/8 days.
We welcome you to a serene and highly religious Damodar Kund, it lies on the north east of Mustang District and is at the altitude of 5400 meters. Barah Puran has narrated the damodar kund’s religions significance. While describing Domodar Kund, River Kaligandaki can’t be left untouched. River Kaligandaki has its source in Damodar Kund and throughout its flow to south right up to Indian border carries a manifestation of lying lord Vishnu with Damodarkund jeweled as His auspicious Head and with Muktinath as the mouth, Shaligram Chakra as chest Ru Ru Kshetra of Palpa district as the waist, Devaghatam as the Knee and lastly the auspicious feet of lord Vishnu goes to the credit of Gajendra Moksha devadham, Nawal Parasi. Such a beautiful elaboration of the lord, one may find starting from the auspicious lakes of Damodar Kund.
While visiting Damodar Kund you’re in the land of Mustang, the hidden kingdom of Himalayas, you will enjoy a very different culture then that of Indian sub continent Aryan and Dravid culture
This is such a holy place where the son of Brahma, Pulai Rishi in Satya Yuga; Ravana and Rajarshi Bharat, the son of Hrishavdeva in Treta Yuga had a penance amidst green forests, gardens, fresh wind pure water and wild roots and fruits. There is huge Shaligram at this place.
It is believed that the spirits of the dead live in heaven for eternity if their descendants perform Shradda, death rite, at the place where the big sacred stone is situated. Even insects or lower species go to heaven if they die nearby or some miles away around the
Shaligram.: Due to the Chakrankit Sheela, sacred stone stamped with holy wheel, the place is known as Chakra Tirtha. King Raghu received Bramhopadesh (gospels) from Jada Bharat at this holy place. There are Shivalinga, Temples, shrines, altars, public shelters (dharmashala) etc, at this place.
Galeshwor, described in religious scriptures as a holy place for the time immemorial, lies in Myagdi district, Dhaulagiri zone, the western region of the country.
Riddi Hrishikesh Tirtha
Located in Palpa district of western region of Nepal and known as Shree Muktinath Katti Hrishikesh Tirtha is named after the name of god so addressed at His grace by Ruru, a famous legendary woman devotee who was in a deep penance in devotion of god.
The Purana says that god was so happy to see Ruru in such devotion that he stood outside her hermitage. She requested him to sit inside and god converted himself into a big and beautiful stone, Hrishikesh Sheela.
According to Shreemadhagavata and Barah Purana, once upon a time there was a war between an elephant king (Gajaral) and a crocodile (Graha) that lasted for hundreds of years. Lord Vishnu heard the prayers from the elephant and descended on Garuda to rescue him. As he arrived at the place, one leg of the elephant was already in the mouth of the crocodile. The god safely rescued the elephant from the menacing jaws of the crocodile.
This place is situated in Nawalparashi district near the Indian border at the west bank of Narayani River. It is the point where two rivers: Swornabhadra and Purnabhadra meet Narayani river. There are many temples out of which Laxminarayana Temple and Gajendramokshya Temple are famous.
Speaking to Lord Vishnu who is going to punish the demons, Lord Shiva states: Vishnu! Go to pacify the demons by bearing a sober body with an enlightened mind rather than go with dazzling personality.
Thus, Lord Vishnu entered into the womb of Mayadevi, the wife of king Suddodhan, and was born in Kapilbastu district of western region of Nepal.
Hindus believe Buddha as the ninth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The gospels and sermons of peace and fraternity Buddha spread over the world to redeem humanity from the sufferings and chains of life are still unquestionably followed by the people all over the world. Such supreme soul was born in the pious soul of Lumbini. One, who visits the place, meditates there and follows the teachings of Buddha can really get redemption from all sorrows of the world. Buddha is worshipped as an incarnation of God among Hindus and Prophet among Buddhists. There is tall column erected by a king from India, Ashoka, known as Ashoka Stumbha at the heart of Lumbini bearing the physical testimony of historical truth that Buddha was born at this place.
The capital of the former kingdom of Tirahut, is the seat of a rich civilization, which peaked between the 11th and 14th centuries. The ancient city suffered terrible devastation in the hands of invaders but its cultural glory remained in the archeological treasures that are found here. There many Hindu temples that draws people to this place in large numbers. Simraugadh is situated in the Terai plains to the south of Kathmandu. The most convenient access to this place, by air, is from Birgunj (270 km away from Kathmandu). Another route to Simraugadh is a Flight to Simara (15 minutes) and then a drive to Birgunj (25 km) from where it is 45 km to simraugadh.
Ridi is among the most popular religious places in Nepal. Rikeshwor Narayan mandir, situated here, is the local version of the Pashupatinath temple with its auspicious Ghats (cremation grounds). It is situated at the confluence of The Kali Gandaki and the Ridi Khola, linked by a 50 km dirt road to the hill resort town of Tansen. During the Makar Sankranti festival, hundreds of devotees from different parts of the world throng the Dhanusha temple to worship the fossilized bow fragments and to take ritual dips in the river. Here, there are other temples dedicated to Ram and Ganesh too.
Dhanushadham, a historical and religious site, dates back to the time of the great epic- Ramayana. It is located 18 km north-east of Janakpur in the south- central region of Nepal. Dhanushadham was the place where Lord Rama had broke Shiva’s divine bow, a condition for winning the hand of Sita in marriage. According to the epic, one of the three pieces of the bow fell in the present day Dhanushadham.
Long back, Viddyadhara (writers of religious texts) and gods got heavenly pleasure through their meditation and by performing Yagyan at this place. Since then, Vedic yagyan with a Vedic slogan known as “Yagyan vai Vishnu” (Flames as Lord Vishnu) has been continuously going on till date for 108 years.
On the basis of that principles, his holiness Swami Shree Hansananda Giri Sworgadwari Mahaprabhu set up a Vedic yagyan in Pyuthan district, mid-western region of Nepal at 6960 feet height and started panchmahayagyan. Myth further says the king of gods; Indra had also performed a Yagyan in Satya Yuga at this place.
Situated in Nepalgunj, Banke district of mid-western region of Nepal, the temple of goddess Vageshwori is famous as the goddess of wisdom and knowledge. Goddess Vageshwori is one of the sites of power, Shaktipeetha. Like Guhyashwori, this place is recognized as the site where Satidevi’s tongue had fallen apart as her decaying body was being carried by her husband, Lord Shiva.
There is an image of the goddess Bhagavati on her ride, tiger. The premise of the temple is enriched with images of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Mahakali, Lord Krishna and other gods and goddesses. At the entrance of the temple are huge and life-like images of lions. One specialty of this temple is that a lamp in a shelf at the left corner always remains ablaze uninterrupted. Priests from Nath clan perform their holy rites everyday.
This temple was set up by Siddababa, Chandannath a priest from Nath clan and so it was named after him. Here is no image of god but the prominent presence of Lord Vishnu, Dattatreya is symbolically represented by wooden slipper (kharau). God Dattatrya is believed to give happiness and salvation.
Such a huge famous temple with a great religious faith among Hindus and Buddhists is situated in Jumla district, Karnali zone of mid-western region of Nepal. All priests of this temple belong to Nath clan.6th and 7th chapter of Sreemadhagavata’s 11th skanda describe n detail that Dattatreya learnt from 24 elements like earth, water sky and others.
Vindhyavasini temple is situated on a hillock in the heart of Pokhara city in the western part of the country. People worship Vindhyavasini as the mother goddess who fulfills the wishes of her devotees. There are other shrines, temples and monasteries in the area. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of Machhapuchre hold the visitors spellbound.
Amidst the dispute between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu over the responsibility for looking after species on earth, there appeared all of a sudden a libido, Shivalinga representing Lord Shiva, God of justice and fear.
Lord Vishnu offered prayers and appraisals when he saw Lord Shiva’s radiant face with three eyes, four hands, wearing a garland and a sacred thread of serpents, a crescent moon shinning on the head and the whole body smeared with sacred ash.
Lord Shiva said “I have taken this form to safeguard life on earth, so all will regard me as Pashupati,” the Savior of animals” i.e. the living things in real sense.
This holy place is situated at the heart of Kathmandu where the most antique image of Kirantas some 2000 years ago. Praised and worshiped as Deity of the nation, Pashupatinath symbolizes the beginning of human settlement in the plains of Kathmandu valley.
Staggering with extremely burning throat having drunk the venomous poison- which came out while churning the sea- Lord Shiva was wandering with parching mouth in the quest of water. As he reached Gosaikunda, he pierced the trident into the earth where burst out a spring out a spring of water. His burning throat was cooled with the water and the place was thus called Gosaikunda and the flowing water came to be named as Trisuli, Trishulganga (holy river flowing out of trident).
Lord Shiva is believed to have said himself that one who has a holy dip at this place, and offers dana (charity) can have the grace of Lord Shiva. It is located in Rasuwa district of Bagmati zone to the north of Kathmandu.
Janakpur in the eastern Terai is one of the oldest and most famous cities of Nepal. Mithila was the capital of the Videha (bodyless) spiritual Janakas, the rulers who were the embodiment of spiritual attainment. Janaki, Sita was born to Sivadhwaga Janaka and was married to Rama, the King of Ayodhya the legendary hero of the great epic Ramayana. A great centre of learning for scholars in ancient times, Janakpur once had hundreds of sages who contributed substantially to Hindu philosophy, with one of their oldest works being the famous Upanisad Brihadarandyaka written in the form of a dialogue which deals with the gods, the nature of Brahma, the supreme reality and the introduction to the self.
Predominantly inhabited by Maithilis, it has its own language, script and a rich artistic tradition and culture. The religious Mithila art is well known in the local and international art world.
Goddess Laxmi was born as a daughter of King Janak in Dhanusha district of modern Nepal. The place, Janakpur is named after the king whose daughter Sita; Janaki became the wife of Lord Rama. Religious books describe the place thus: As there is no perfection of moon without Purnima (full moon), one can not complete religious pilgrimage without visiting Mithila, Janakpur, remains unobstructed. As a result, one gets the companionship of Lord Rama after death, say Shruti and Smriti Puranas.
Janakpur is a city of dozens of holy pools, with a number of ancient sites, some of which have yet to be identified. The really famous object for adoration in Janakpur is the Janaki temple which is sometimes compared with the Taj Mahal of India. A simple construction to start with, the present structure owes its existence to King Pralapa Singh and his consort who donated hundreds of thousands of silver coins when they were blessed with a child by Sita, enshrined within the temple. Started about 1895, it took a number of years to evolve into its present shape and was completed in 1911.
Constructed in an area of 4,860 sq. feet in a mixed style of Islamic and Rajput Domes the temple is 50 metres high; a three storeyed structure made entirely of stone and marble. All its 60 rooms are decorated with coloured glass, engrav- ings and paintings, with beautiful lattice windows and turrets.
Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple in November/December for Vivah Panchami ( marriage over 5 days ), the town s major annual festival, when the marriage of Sita and Rama is celebrated with various re-enactments. A popular time too for modern day weddings.
Jaleshwor literally means God of water because of the Shiva Linga situated under the surface of the water. Located in Mahottari district of central terai region of the country, it is said that about 250 years ago, a hermit named Jagadesh had visited this place and had meditated. He then made a prophecy that the soil of this place would crack and Shiva Linga would emerge. Because of this belief, even today, the ritual of offering food to the hermit Jagadesh takes place in the month of Mangsir (November/December), of each year and his Shraddha is performed. During the Shivaratri festival, great religious gatherings take place at this temple.
The temple of Dolakha Bhimsen in Dolakha district of eastern Nepal is a very important site for all Hindus. It is commonly believed that this temple was already in existence in the 7th century. There is a strong belief that people will be blessed with children if they pay a visit and worship Bhimeshwor, the idol of this temple. The devotees will also be blessed with a prosperous life and be saved from evil. The occasional perspiration of the stone idol is strongly believed to be the sign of impending natural calamity or political changes in the country.
The temple of Gadhi Mai, located in Bara district of central terai region, is visited by millions of Hindus. It is a temple where the largest numbers of animal sacrifices are offered. A month –long fair is held in the month of Mangsir (November / December) once in every five years to worship the goddess. During this fair the devotees first take a holy dip in the sacred pond and offer homage to the goddess with animal sacrifices. The sacrifices of animals to the goddess Gadhi Mai are believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees.
Lord Vishnu, by taking the incarnation of a boar (Baraha) protected the earth from being submerged into Patal (underworld) with his long tusk. Then the Lord sat with his wife Laxmi at the bank of Koshi River and the lap of Himalayas and hills. So, the place bore its name after that event. There is a big and beautiful image of the Baraha incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
It is believed that all wishes are fulfilled during life and one gets the eternal grace from Lord Vishnu after death if one takes holy dips at the confluence of Koshi and Koka rivers and worships god at the temple. Shradda performed at this place has greater value than that performed at Gaya.
During the time of churning of the sea by gods and demons, there surfaced foam out of which was Shiva Linga made and set up amidst holy rites and Prana Pratistha at Rudraksyaranya, Bijayapur. It was called Pindeshwor because the linga was made out of sea nectar. Lord Shiva who was sitting invisibly at a Holy Tree, Rudraksha, came to the visibility in the form of the linga for the welfare of the world.
This holy place is situated in Sunsari district. One can have an access to Shivaloka, the adobe of Lord Shiva is s/he remembers Shiva and makes offering to the Lord Pindeshwor.
Situated in Dharan, Bijayapur of Sunsari district, Budhasubba is worshipped by Limbus as khewasamang deva and by others as Lord Shiva.
Long ago, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati under the guise of Khewasang and Yuwasamang, Kiranti King and Queen in the process of hunting arrived at Vijaypur where they stuck their bows and sat in a penance. During then, they realized the approach of Kaliyuga and immediately disappeared. That event is called Budhasubba in Kiranti language. From the bows sprouted bamboo shoots without the tuft.
Another myth mentions the event of Ekalavya in deep meditation and self training of archery by setting up an image of Guru Dronacharya, famous teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas. It says Ekalavya himself is Budhasubba. Worship and meditation at this place are believed to fulfill one’s wishes.
Halesi Mahadev caves located in the western part of Khotang district of eastern Nepal are believed to have been dug by Lord Shiva to hide himself from demon, Bhasmasur who had acquired the power to set anyone on fire. Haleshi Mahadevastha is also known as Pashupatinath of the east. This cave temple has a Shiva linga that pilgrim worship. Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims from different parts of Nepal and India visit Haleshi during Maha Shivaratri, Rama Nawami and other special occasions. Haleshi is now being developed into a tourist destination.
Goddess at Pathibhara is believed to fulfill the long – cherished dreams of her devotees, like son for sonless and wealth for poor. Devotees make pilgrimage to Pathibhara where their wishes come true. Buddhists living in the vicinity light lamps at the temple on the full moon nights. There are several ponds in the area of Pathibhara of Taplejung district, far eastern region of Nepal where pilgrims take holy dips and observe traditional fairs.
In this region, pilgrims can also visit monasteries situated in Olangchungola and Lungchung, the waterfall at Sawa and the pond of Timbuk, during autumn and spring every year.
Situated at an altitude of 2438 meters, Mai Pokhari is a famous place of pilgrimage in Ilam district. Lying at about thirteen kilometers north of Ilam Bazaar, this beautiful place consists of the pond whose circumference is more than one kilometer. Altogether there are nine ponds in the area some of which are large enough for boats. This place becomes alive every year during ‘Harisayam Ekadashi’ when a one-night fair is held. This place is a famous picnic spot for nearby people Mai Pokhari can be reached in four hours from Ilam Bazaar in jeep. On the way are the villages of Chureghanti, Bakhaute, Dharapani and Hasbire Bhanjyang, which offer commanding views of the snowy peaks towards north.
Baidyanath kshetra is located in Achham district, the far western region of Nepal, at the right bank of Briddaganga River, one of the four important regions of Aryavarta, the land of Aryans. The places described in Manaskhanda of Skandapurana are as follows:
– Baidyanath based in Garudagunj, famous as a place where Goddess Parvati was married to Lord Shiva.
– Four sites (Chardhama): Kailash, Manasrovar, Khocharnath and Achham-based Baidyanath. The following lines are the holy words of Lord Shiva himself.
Called on by maharshi (saga the great) to please me, the confluence of Bridaganga and Saraswoti River is my symbol and my holy site. This place is famous Baidyanath which is lovelier than Kailash and Vindyachal. On this earth, I am medicine and doctor myself. Gods get medicines of thousands of diseases and pray me as baidyanath (lord of medicines) and get rid of problems.
Until men worship the Jyotirlinga at Baidyanath, human beings keep wandering as sufferers of diseases. It is one of the four religious sites, Chardhama of Nepal; Pashupat Kshetra, Muktinath Kshetra, Baraha Kshetra, Baidyanath Kshetra. Baidyanath is described as a savior / redeemer for the devout. This is believed to be the place where Ravana, the antagonist in The Ramayana, sat in penance in devotion of god.
The above lines say that Goddess Malika Temple is located at the side of Briddaganga, in front of Karnali River at the height of 4210 m. in Bajura district of Seti zone. On the left of the temple lies devatata and to the south is a mountain called Poor. It is believed that those born in the previous life the devotion of goddess, devi go to visit the temple.
Even the human beings who have committed the crimes like killing of Brahmanas, (Brhamhatya), drinking liquor (surapana) etc, can also be purged of sins if they visit the temple .The knowledge, which can not be possible through the knowledge of Sankhyayoga; the first explanation of earth ,can be achieved through this pilgrimage. This goddess is more famous than in other temples.
To the south of the Briddaganga lies Khaptad Mountain (Achham) which is extended in the area of 56 x 22 miles. In the middle of the area are 5 images of Lord Shiva, carved by a famous craftsman in Hindu mythology, Vishwokarma. In located a sacred stone of Lord Shiva Shankara Sheela, surrounded by thousand personified columns, lingas, to be worshipped by gods and gandarvas (heavenly singers).Thus, Sahashreshwor Mahadeva is enshrined in the middle. Sahashreshwor is worshipped by gods in Khechar/ Khaptad area as widely as Bishweshwor in Kashi, Varanashi. Criminals and lepers also get deliverance from sins if they visit this place and worship gods.
The value of this place has been further enhanced due to a great sage enlightened with knowledge of medicines, philosophy and religion, Khaptad Swami who stayed there for a long time until his death.
One, who reads and listed the myth of the emergence of Goddess Saileshwor, gets rid of crimes and gets blessings. Devout can be endowed son, property, Knowledge and salvation. Such an important place in Doti district.
Siddha Nath Baba
The temple of Siddha Nath Baba is located at the central part of Mahendranagar city of far- western region of the country. It is believed that desires get fulfilled when one pays homage to Siddha Nath Baba after worshipping Goddess Purnagiri at Tanakpur, a nearly Indian border city. The Purnagiri temple is a famous pilgrimage site in North India. The tradition of offering bell to the Siddha Nath Baba temple after one’s wish is fulfilled is maintained to this day. Religious gathering takes place at this temple especially during the festivals like Navaratri. Holi Purnima, Teej, Panchami and Gaura etc. Devotees from India also come to pay homage to Siddha Nath Baba.
Just like in India, the four Dhams of Nepal denoted as Kshetras form a complete pilgrimage. Besides the above mentioned major pilgrimage sites, there are numerous other holy places which bear mythical and cultural significance. Among many places, Kathmandu alone harbors hundreds of temples and gombas. Therefore, it is rightly called the city of temples. In addition, innumerable images and symbols of gods and goddesses from antique times have enriched our religious treasury.
The temples and images are important both for religious and aesthetic purposes because they have beautiful decorations, designs, carvings and symmetry in addition to their strong religious significance.