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Temples to Visit In Kathmandu

Kathmandu, also called as the city of temples is home to hundreds of temples, shrines and stupas with either of one at every square or street. Be it the sophisticated carvings on the walls and roofs or the pagoda-style structures; the temples in Nepal each with its own historical and religious importance will definitely blow your mind.

Here’s a list of some temples you can’t afford to miss when on your stay in Kathmandu.

1. Pashupatinath Temple

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It is the most sacred, oldest and the largest Hindu temple of Lord Shiva and falls under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Holding a religious significance, hundreds of devotees worship hoping for their good health and future prosperity.

It is the only temple in Nepal whose lingam is dressed in its golden robes, except at the time of Abhisheka, when the idol is unclothed. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the compound of main temple, while all the other parts are open to all. The most holy cremation site are taken in the nearby riverside steps of the holy temple.

Timing: 4:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM; open all days.

2. Budhanilkantha Temple

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It is an enormous statue of Lord Vishnu, reclining on a bed of snakes located at the base of Shivapuri hill. The main statue of the Lord Vishnu is around 5 meters long surrounded by a recessed pool of more than 13 meters long. Only Hindus are allowed to touch the feet of Lord Vishnu.

The unique thing about the statue is that it appears to be a stone statue that floats on the water of the pool. However, it is believed that the rock is a form of silica, with an extremely low density.

Timings: Opens all day from 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM; for Darshan- 4:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

3. Swayambhunath

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Famous as “Monkey Temple”, it is located at the top of a small hill in the northwest of the Kathmandu valley. It is one of the oldest temple stupa, said to be 2000 years old. It is a popular destination for many Buddhist pilgrims and is considered one of the sacred Buddhist temple.

Along with its historical importance, it is also a great place to get some stunning panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley. The sides of the stupa have the eyes of Buddha painted on each side of its four sides representing wisdom and compassion which helps one reach the state of enlightenment.

Timings: 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM, opens all days.

4. Dakshinkali Temple

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A temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, Dakshinkali Temple is located in the outer line of Pharping Village. It is a sacred place for Hindus where animals such as goats and cockerels are sacrificed for the prosperity and well-being of the family.

These rituals are usually carried out on Tuesday and Saturday, though the best time to observe the ritual is the Dashain festival, which falls in October.

Timings- 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM, open all days.

5. Guhyeshwari Temple

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This temple is located on the embankments of Bagmati River near Pashupatinath Mandir and holds immense significance among Hindus. The goddess is worshipped in a water container called Kalash covered with a layer of silver and gold. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the shrine and worship.

Timing- 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM, open all days.

6. Changu Narayan Temple

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Dedicated to one of the four incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the temple is one of the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley located on a small hill to the east of Kathmandu. The temple holds around six different festivals throughout the year. One can also enjoy the spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains from the temple.

Timings- 6:30 AM to 6 PM, opens all day.

7. Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple

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The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located between the Pashupatinath temple and Gujeshwori Temple. The temple holds the legacy of the Kirant Dynasty of Nepal Valley. It is believed that a visit of this temple fulfills one’s wishes for good health, peace, harmony and wish for a son or daughter.

One can also enjoy the Nepali music concert held using instruments such as table, flute, harmonium and sitar on every full moon night.

Timings- 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM, open all days. One can attend the musical concert from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

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Written by Rashmi Lohia

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