Temples are one of the integral identities of our country Nepal. Majority of the population in Nepal follow Hindu religion and with the belief in Hinduism, there are many temples associated with it. Some are believed to have come to being on their own whereas some were built with devotion and reverence towards gods.
Temples in Nepal are popular worldwide. Temples have always been an important part of people’s lives in Nepal since the earliest recorded histories. Nepal is considered a plethora of temples and religious sites. Pilgrims, both national and international are seen paying their homage in various temples. The home of Gods and Goddesses, Nepal is rich in religious and cultural heritages. If you ever come for a visit in Nepal, then you will get the chance to see various temples, stupas and religious shrines. These are our holy treasures and we treasure them dearly.
There are hundreds of temples and religious sites in Nepal. Some of the important temples in Nepal are mentioned below:
- Pashupatinath Temple: Located on the banks of Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Pashupatinath is one of the most sacred temples for Hindu people all around the world. This temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the major festivals that take place here is Mahashivaratri which is celebrated with much joy and devotion.
- Swayambhunath Temple: The Swayambhu complex is an important site for both Hindus and Buddhists. It consists of stupa, shrines and temples which date back to the Lichchhavi period in the history. It is situated west to the Kathmandu city. It is also known as the Monkey Temples.
- Kasthamandap: This temple which was said to have been built from the timber of single tree was ravaged due to the earthquake 2015. However, the importance of this holy site has not ebbed a bit. People still visit the site where it was locates (in Kathmandu) and offer their praying.
- Sankata Mandir: This temple is located in Te Bahal, Kathmandu. People come here to pray Goddess Sankata who according to Hindu religion is a form of Goddess Durga. Both Hindus and Buddhists worship in this temple. However, Hindus consider the deity as Goddess Sankata and Buddhists consider the deity as God Bhairav. The temple is really crowded on Saturdays as people mostly come on Saturday to worship the deity so as to prevent bad lucks.
- Boudhanath: This stupa located in Kathmandu is one of the UNESCO listed cultural heritages. It is one of the largest stupas in the world itself. There are various legends associated with this shrine. The earthquake of 2015 had damaged the stupa badly. But, after the renovations, it has been one of the best examples for the reconstruction and has been able to attract eve more tourists than ever before.
- Budhanilkantha: This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is situated in the northern end of the Kathmandu Valley. It is also known as the Narayanthan temple. The temple’s main statue is considered to be the largest carving in Nepal and it is carved using a single block of black basalt.
- Dakshinkali: This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is situated on the outside village of Pharping. Mainly in festivals like Dashain, people offer sacrifices of animals like goats as a means of worshipping Goddess Kali.
- Chandeshwori Temple: This temple is one of the attractions of Banepa, located in Kavrepalanchowk district in Nepal. In Hindu religion, Chandeshwori is the avatar taken by Hindu Goddess Kumari.
- Palanchowk Bhagwati: This temple is situated in Panchkhal municipality of Kavrepalanchowk district. The main feature of the temple is the idol of Goddess Bhagwati carved in black stone.
- Changu Narayan: This temple located in Bhaktapur district of Nepal in a small village called Changu, is the oldest temple of Nepal. But the earthquake of 2015 brought a massive damage upon it. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and people revere it with utmost respect.
- Devghat Mandir: Located in the northwest of Narayangadh, Nepal, this temple is located on a very serene and tranquil place. Trishuli and Kaligandaki rivers merge to form Narayani which flows down to the holy river, Ganga. It is said that each person should visit this temple at least once during their lifetime. Many people retire and wait for their death in this holy place.
- Kakrebihar mandir: This temple is situated in Surkhet valley, Nepal. It is a 12th century temple but was destroyed due to 2015 earthquake. However, renovations have begun and it is expected to be restored by the year 2018.
- Budhasubba Temple: It is one of the main attractions as a religious site in Dharan, Nepal. It is believed that people who visit this temple are granted with the fulfilment of their wishes and good luck.
- Manakamana: Situated 12 kms south to the town of Gorkha, the name of the temple is derived from two Nepali words, “Mana” and “Kamana” which means “heart” and “wish” respectively. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and there is a belief that one’s wish will be granted if the person makes a pilgrimage to the shrine to worship Goddess Manakamana.
- Bindabasini Mandir: The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is considered as guardian deity of Pokhara. It is situated 3000 feet above sea level and is a significant hub for religious fervour.
- Pathivara Devi Temple: It is a religious site located in Taplejung district of Nepal. It is one of the most holy places for Kirat and Limbu. The Goddess at Pathivara is worshipped through animal sacrifices, gold and silver and it is believed that the Goddess has supernatural powers and answers its devotees’ prayers.
- Muktinath Temple: Located in Mustang, Kathmandu, it is a sacred temple for both the followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. The main attractions in this temple are the idol of Lord Vishnu and 108 bull faced pipes in which the pilgrims take bath even in freezing temperatures.
- Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple: The temple is located in Dolakha district, Nepal. There are idols Goddess Bhagwati and Lord Ganesh. Krishna Astami and Janai Purnima are major festivals celebrated here.