Kathmandu Valley has a step forward to the contemporary, modern world; whereas, it still has a foot backward in the history via delicate balance it maintains between the influence of two ancient, yet major religions and the valley flaunts this achievement down the religious structures based inside its periphery.
Residents of the valley have strong faith in their religions and intensely believe in their deities, worshipping them in their place of worship regularly or in the different occasions/festivals devoted to them.
Here, is a quick look at famous Hindu religious sites in Kathmandu bearing the religious values, and the faith of the residents of the valley as well as of the world found inside the ancient Kathmandu Valley:
1 | Pashupatinath Temple: Most Sacred Hindu Shrine
The most sacred Hindu religious sites in Kathmandu located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, Pashupatinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva: The mightiest deity in Hindu religion and the destroyer represented as the Shiva Linga; alongside, the statues, shrines, and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex.
The foremost temple featuring pagoda construction i.e. devoted to Lord Shiva inside the complex is adorned with a gold-plated roof, silver doors, and woodcarvings of the finest quality.
Another prominent temple inside the Pashupatinath complex is Guheswari Temple devoted to Satidevi: The consort and source of the power of Lord Shiva, who gave up her life in the flames of her father’s fire ritual in the response to the insults made by her father against Lord Shiva.
There is Arya Ghat (cremation grounds) on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Enlisted as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pashupatinath Temple witnesses thousands of worshippers and devotees pay their tribute each year; notably during the providential festival of Mahashiva Ratri.
The sacred temple is a major attraction for tourist sightseeing inside the Kathmandu Valley and the visitors love the spiritual atmosphere perceived inside the holy complex.
2 | Budhanilkantha Temple: The temple of the sleeping Narayan
The Budhanilkantha statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, located approximately 10 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu at the base of the Shivapuri Hill, is the largest and most beautiful stone carving in all of Nepal. It is also the most enigmatic.
In the late 14th century, the Malla king Jayasthitihi (1382–1395) is credited with reviving the Vishnu cult by claiming to be the latest incarnation of this often-incarnated god. Subsequent kings of Nepal, most notably Pratap Malla (1641-1674) have made the same claim.
According to a story originating from this time, Pratap Malla had a prophetic vision, which resulted in his strong belief and fear that should the King of Nepal visit the Budhanilkantha temple, death would be imminent upon his departure.
Continuing to this day the Hindu Kings of Nepal will not visit the temple. The devotional practice of other Hindus is to approach Vishnu’s feet and, after touching them, make prayers and/or give thanks to the god (but it is forbidden for foreign visitors to do this).
3 | Krishna Mandir: Religious Attractions
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.
4 | Kumari Ghar: Catch a glimpse of a living goddess.
The Kumari Ghar was built in 1757 by King Jaya Prakash Malla when he was overcome in guilt after offending the current Royal Kumari. In an act of atonement, he built her a new home. It was renovated in 1966.
The Kumari (literally “virgin”) is believed to be the reincarnation of the Hindu warrior goddess Taleju, a manifestation of Durga. Buddhists, on the other hand, believe her to be the tantric goddess Vajradevi. Nepal has several Kumaris, but Kumari Devi, or the Royal Kumari, is the most famous.
Selected in early childhood from the Newar Buddhist Sakhya caste of goldsmiths and silversmiths, potential candidates are placed in a darkened room with freshly severed buffalo heads and dancing men wearing demon masks. It is believed if one candidate is not frightened, as most young girls surely would be, she is the next reincarnation of Taleju.
Once chosen, she moves into the Kumari Ghar, where her feet will never touch the ground and she’ll only leave during specific festivals and religious duties.
The Kumari Ghar is located near the south entrance of Durbar Square in Kathmandu. The best time to see the living goddess is between 9-11 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. No photography or video is allowed of Kumari. There’s a small entrance fee to visit Durbar Square, but no additional fee to visit Kumari Ghar.
5 | Kailashnath Mahadev Statue – Sanga, Nepal.
Kailashnath Mahadev is the world’s fortieth-tallest statue, four places below the Statue of Liberty. It is situated in Sanga, the border of Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchwok districts in Nepal which is about 20 km from Kathmandu.
The statue is 144 feet high and made using copper, zinc, concrete and steel.
According to the List of statues by height, Kailashnath Mahadev is the world’s fortieth-tallest statue, four places below the Statue of Liberty.
The statue is claimed to be the tallest statue of Mahadev in the world. Kamal Jain, an Indian national living in Bhatbhateni, made the idol with a single investment.
Kathmandu is a city with a rich cultural and religious heritage, and there are many car rental services available for religious tours. One such service is Kathmandu Car Rental Services. They offer professional car rental services at competitive prices and have a wide range of vehicles to choose from, including economy cars, SUVs, buses, jeeps, and luxury vans. You can contact them through their customer service tools on social media, email, WhatsApp/Viber number: +9779851036473