Nepal temples represent a harmony of two religions. For centuries, adherents of Buddhism and Hinduism have peacefully co-existed in the same country, even in the same community. Whether you're coming to Nepal to honor your faith, do some mountain climbing, or connect with culture, you'll find ample opportunities to add time at a Nepali temple to your plans.
In the capital city of Kathmandu, the Pashupatinath Temple stands on the banks of the Bagmati River. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Hindu temple stands in the center of an open courtyard, a pagoda with two tiers and ornamented gold and silver doors on every side. As one of the oldest in Hinduism, this Nepali temple honors Shiva's manifestation as Pashupati, the Lord of the Animals.
While the historical record is not exactly clear about the exact history, the Pashupatinath Temple has been a centerpiece of religious life in the Kathmandu Valley for centuries, hosting major religious events and welcoming pilgrims everyday. The grounds of the Pashupatinath Temple also include a smaller temples and statues of kings. Like many of the Nepal temples, those who are not of the Hindu faith cannot enter, but they admire the architecture from the opposite bank of the river.
Another one of the Nepal temples in the capital city, the Swayambunath Kathmandu Temple sits high on a hill in the western border of the valley. Many people enjoying holidays here have another name for the complex: the Monkey Temple Nepal. One of the oldest sites in Buddhism, this has been a sacred space for more than 2,000 years. According to legend, the valley once was filled with a lake, where a single lotus blossom grew. After the lake was drained, the lotus transformed into a stupa, an important symbol of Buddhist faith and architecture.
This Nepali temple welcomes pilgrims and tourists alike. If you're wondering when to go, Saturday is an excellent time to visit so you mingle with the locals and experience some of the special events. Since you're spending a lot of time outdoors walking, it's also good to visit when the weather's nice. The Nepal weather, especially in Kathmandu, is most pleasant in the spring and fall. Whenever you decide to visit, you'll find much to explore. Visitors approach, following a staircase that winds through the woods populated by monkeys. Religious fixtures include statues of Buddha and shrines. Two Nepal temples, shaped like bullets, flank the main stupa, dedicated by a king in honor of a victory over Tibet. The site also includes a temple dedicated to a Hindu goddess.
With a trip to the north end of the valley, you could see the Budhanilkantha Temple, dedicated to Vishnu. Its massive sculpture from the fifth century depicts the deity reclining over a bed of snakes. The Changu Narayan Temple is another sacred site in the Kathmandu Valley. Constructed of stone, metal, and wood, the ancient site is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It, too, has a statue of Vishu, which appears on some of the country's currency.
When your Nepal holidays take you away from the capital city, you have many chances to see temples along the way. Some of them welcome members of a trek, a respite from the challenge of these exhilarating guided tours.
Located in Central Nepal, the Janaki Temple is an important World Heritage Site in Janakpur. Just like Chitwan National Park and the Lumbini World Heritage Site, this honored and preserved for its cultural importance. The temple stands at the birthplace of Ram Janaki, a goddess and consort of Lord Rama.