If you think that Nepal is all about river rafting, mountaineering, trekking, and hiking then we must say that you only know one side of Nepal. There are lots of things that Nepal offers to a wanderer and ancient, historical Hindu temples are amongst one of them.
As Nepal is a Hindu country, there is no dearth of temples that are both architectural marvel and spirituality epitome.
Here are some of the most loved and famed Hindu sites that you must visit while you’re in Nepal:
Muktinath holds a special place in both Hindu and Buddhist culture and has gained prominence worldwide. Situated in Mustang district, Muktinath temple is a must-visit place for a Lord Shiva devotee. The temple has a glorious 3000 history and receives thousands of footfalls every year. Inside the temple, there is a Buddhist Gompa and the pagoda style, Vishnu Temple, as well. The 108 water spouts behind the temple is another major attraction of this temple. The temple can easily be visited by yatris who plan to participate in the Muktinath Yatra.
More than its religious importance, the next thing that fascinates people about this temple is the route that takes you here. To reach this temple, you’ve to opt for the Annapurna circuit trek. The trek itself takes you from various rocky yet ravishing landscapes that take your breath away. The surrounding view from the temple top, on a clear day, will leave you in awe.
Located in the heart of the country’s capital, Kathmandu, Pashupatinath temple is another sacred Hindu site that deserves a visit for sure while you’re in Nepal. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this is one of the 4 most vital sites in Asia, considered very important by the devotees. The temple has the largest temple complex in Nepal.
In this temple, only Hindus are allowed to enter. This is considered as the most sacred place to die. You can witness many cremations of Hindus take place on raised platforms. So, don’t lose heart with the sight. Due to its impeccable architecture, it gains a place in UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Site list.
If you have a wish that needed to be granted then you must pay a visit to Manakamana Temple. Dedicated to Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati, this temple has a pagoda-style structure. Visiting this temple during Dasain (in September-October) and Nag Panchami (July – August) festival considered as most auspicious.
To reach this temple, you need to cross a ropeway which is the thrill of a whole new level. You will be stunned to see the aerial view of snow-capped mountains and lush-green valley from the sky-top. That’s why Manakamana Temple is worth a visit.
Located at the foothills of Shivapuri hills, Budhanilkantha temple is another most visited holy Hindu Shrine that a Hindu must visit during his/her Nepal visit. Situated at a stone throw away distance from the capital city, this temple has a boasting Lord Vishnu statue.
What makes this temple different from others is the position of the Lord Vishnu in the statue. In most of the cases, you’ll either find deity sitting or standing. But, here the deity is reclining on a bed of Nagas or serpents in the middle of a small pond. The remarkable intricate artwork in the temple makes it a work-of-art.
Dedicated to a bloodthirsty goddess, Kali, Dakshinkali Temple is one of the most visited Hindu sites in Nepal. This is one of those temples where the ritual of animal sacrifice is still observed in full swing to please the goddess. Saturday is the big sacrificial day and you’ll get to see a huge rush on this day.
The temple is situated at a hilltop gives you a breathtaking view of the surroundings. Dashain festival, Nepal’s version of Durga Puja, is one of the best times to visit this temple. Reaching here is an easy and hassle-free job.
Located just next to Pashupatinath temple, Gujeswori Shaktipith is another important Hindu site that you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Nepal. It is one of the chief Shakti Peetha mentioned in Hindu scriptures and believed that this is the place where Sati’s (Lord Shiva’s wife) hips were fallen down. This temple is also considered as the shakti chair of Pashupatinath Temple. Hence, you must never leave Nepal without visiting this temple.
Doleshwar Mahadev Temple
Situated in Bhaktapur district, Doleshwar Mahadev Temple is just 20 km away from the capital city and can be accessed easily. If you’re a Shiva devotee and visiting Kedarnath then your visit will not be considered completed if you don’t visit Doleshwar Mahadev temple along with the Pashupatinath temple. All these three places are known to set you and your soul free from all your sins. Though the connection between Kedarnath and Doleshwar is not known, this temple is always associated with the mighty shrine.
So, next time you visit Nepal, keep this list handy and don’t forget to pay a visit to these important Hindu sites.
Visit Lake Gosainkunda is a spiritual and physical journey that everyone should embark for sure. As per the folklore, this lake was created by Lord Shiva. This is the lake where Lord Shiva quenched his thirst after consuming poison. Hence, holds a special value in Hinduism. As per the ancient beliefs, a dip in the lake will help you get rid of all your fears, sorrow, and worries.
Apart from its religious significance, the next thing that makes this lake special is the vicinity. Located at an altitude of 4380 m, the lake is surrounded with some of the most beautiful nature’s wonder. You’ll get a chance to witness some of the most beautiful Himalayas range, beautiful scenario, and lush wild nature during this trek. During winters, the lake will be frozen and its beauty stands second to none.
Though it’s not a temple, unlike other opinions mentioned in the article, this is the holiest mountain as per Hinduism. Known as Sagarmatha in Nepali or Chomolungma in Sherpa and Tibetan culture, this is more than a mountain. It considered as ‘Goddess Mother’ by the locals. Many devotees complete their Nepal visit with a Mount Everest trekking. While you also think of doing so, make sure that you’re always hiring an experienced travel/trekking company to accompany you.