Since the prehistoric era, Nepal displayed tranquillity, harmony, calmness, and brotherhood. Nepalese were consistently recognized for their pride and splendour, sans turbulence or timidity. The magnificent past of Nepal is still evident in the arts, traditions, discipline, and throbbing heart of every Nepali.
Every abstract element of Nepalese, whether eyes or grins, tells a story, but it requires eyesight. Deciphering the language requires broad awareness. Since they talk of love, tranquillity, and serenity despite the sorrow, misery, and volatility. Because the same blood of bravery flows through their veins as Bir Gurkhas, these faces are now a fleeting testament to their past. Nepalese people are naturally creative and artistic. They have also always been deeply committed to their faith and values. They have made wooden or stone carvings of idols out of adoration for their deities from ancient times.
For example, we can see doors and windows with magnificent wooden carvings in every antique palace in Nepal. Every alley has a tale to tell. Even the sculptures’ immobility conveys a lot. Some speak of triumph, while others speak of perseverance. This nation is itself a temple, with a beacon of light at every turn. Today’s article will look at some of Nepal’s unquestionably significant historical sites. Buckle up!
Top 10 Religious Places in Nepal
1. Shree Pashupatinath Temple
Situated at the heart of Kathmandu city, the Pashupatinath temple is the most revered shrine worldwide. Followers of Hinduism and Buddhism from around the world come to worship this temple yearly. It is believed that this temple is pre-Vedic in its antiquity. From the Hindu scriptures, Shree Pashupatinath is considered to be the forehead of Lord Shiva when he disguised himself as a bull.
As mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharat, the 5 Pandavas, the princes who fought in the Kurukshetra went to Lord Shiva for penance. Their hands were smeared with their clan’s blood, whom they had to slaughter during the war.
Now struggling with the Gotrabadha (a sin for killing their own clan), they went to Lord Shiva to atone for their sin. Dodging over the Himalayas, the lord disguised himself as a bull to abscond from the Pandava princes. But, Bheema caught the bull by the tail, and when Lord Shive rose, his forehead fell on Pashupatinath. Also from this Hindu mythology, the parts of Lord Shiva’s body in bull form fell into 5 different places; Pashupatinath being the significant one.
In the literal sense, Pashupati means the ‘Lord of all Animals’ which is regarded to be the epithet of Lord Shiva himself. In the temple, a stone deity having 4 faces represents various aspects of nature. Herein, Sadyojata, Vamdeva, Tatpurusha & Aghora are the four faces. And the fifth one is Ishana is faced toward the zenith. In Hindu scriptures, they signify the five primary elements namely earth, water, air, light, and ether. Pashupati is considered to be the protector of the universe and Nepalese worship this temple as a patron deity.
2. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
In the olden days, Bhaktapur Durbar Square used to be a royal palace of the highly dignified Malla Kings.
The Durbar was established in 1427 A. D. by King Yakshya Malla and refurbished in the 17th century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Jaya Ranjit Malla constructed the Vastala Temple in the 17th century.
The complex, which has at least four separate squares (Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square), is collectively referred to as Bhaktapur Durbar Square and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Kathmandu Valley. The main draw of this location is the 55 windows, the Batsala Temple, the Statue of Bhupatindra Malla, the Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairava Nath Temple, the Golden Gate, the Lion’s Gate, and the miniature Pashupatinath Temple.
The 55 windows palace was established in 1427 A. D. by King Yakshya Malla and refurbished in the 17th century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Jaya Ranjit Malla constructed the Vastala Temple in the 17th century. Erotic elephants temple, Ugrachandi and Ugrabhairab, Rameshwar Temple, Badrinath Temple, Gopi Nath Temple, Kedarnath Temple, Hanuman Statue, and Taduchhen Bahal are a few of the Bhaktapur durbar square’s most revered temples.
3. Changunarayan Temple
A two-story Lord Vishnu temple in the pagoda style called Changu Narayan Temple is encircled with antiquated statues and sculptures. It is thought to be the oldest Hindu temple remaining in operation in the Kathmandu Valley today after surviving damage in 1702 and 2015. Since it is the oldest temple in the world, it has age-old artistry statues and wooden carvings. An exquisite medley of historic, artistic, religious, archaeological, and other unique items may be found in Changu Narayan’s possession.
A Gwala, or cow herder, in ancient times, acquired a cow from a Brahmin named Sudarshan. The cow had a reputation for producing a lot of milk. For grazing, the Gwala used to transport the cow to Changu, which once was covered with a grove of Champak trees. The cow would constantly go to the shade of a specific tree when grazing, and a boy would come there and drink the cow’s milk. So, the cow gave insufficient milk when the herder milked him.
When Brahmin chopped down the tree, Lord Vishnu was decapitated, which cleansed him of his sins. Lord Vishnu narrated the account of how he inadvertently killed Sudarshan’s father while hunting in the jungle, committing an atrocious act. After hearing Vishnu’s words, Brahmin and Gwala agreed to worship the location and built a tiny shrine in his honour. Since then, the location has been considered sacrosanct. Even now, Sudarshan’s descendent serves as temple priest, while the Gwala’s descendants are known as Conservators or Ghutiyars.
4. Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha
Lumbini is a treasured shrine for Buddhist and Hindu visitors from all over the world and is classified as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. King Sudhodhana and Queen Mayadevi welcomed a prince into the world when they gave birth to Gautam Buddha in one of Lumbini’s gardens in the Rupandehi District of Lumbini Province. The Lord Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born in well-known gardens in Lumbini around 623 B.C., which quickly became a popular destination for pilgrims.
The Indian monarch Ashoka, who built a memorial pillar there, was one of the famous pilgrims of Buddhism. The sacred shrine of Lumbini has the Ashokan pillar, the Mayadevi Temple, which is considered to be the site of the Buddha’s birth, as well as the remains of former monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, and a historic bathing pond. The destination is visited by pilgrims from different nations from early in the dawn till dusk.
Also, the beauty of the World Peace Pagoda is a sight to behold in itself. The stupa’s floor is stone-paved, and the stupa is whitewashed. It includes four substantial golden Buddha sculptures, each facing one of the four directions. This tranquil location may help someone in locating himself throughout the expanse of the world. Your life can transform dramatically and even permanently as a result of just one location.
5. Janakpurdham: The city of Ponds
Adorned by more than 70 ponds and lush landscapes, Janakpur is often referred to as “the City of Ponds.” Janakpur has several ancient destinations such as; Janaki Mandir, Ram Mandir, Vivaha Mandap, Gangasagar and Swargdwari. In the holy city of Janakpur, visitors can encounter a plethora of cultures, traditions, religions, arts, and languages.
It is believed that Janakpur city in Nepal is where Goddess Sita was born and where she wed Lord Ram. The Ramayana, an illustrious and beloved Hindu epic, is discussed in greater depth here, along with its relevance today. Visit the real locations that the great epic mentions while also learning about the heritage and disciplines of time immemorial.
The Mandir is also renowned as the Nau Lakha Mandir (meaning “nine lakhs”). The temple’s construction cost around the same amount of money: roughly rupees nine lakhs or nine hundred thousand, thus the name. In 1910 AD, Queen Vrisha Bhanu of Tikamgarh erected the temple.
With more than 70 ponds dotting its lush scenery, each corner of Janakpur is grandeur. Also, Swargadwar may be found on Gangasagar’s west bank. Swargdwari translates to “The Heaven or Swarg” and “Dwar” (gate). Therefore, this location is thought of as a portal to paradise for the deceased. Built on such epic scriptures and beliefs, the extremity of this heritage can be witnessed with utter awe!
Some of Nepal’s impressive cultural legacies were highlighted above. In Nepal, there are more than a dozen such ancient sites with archaic beliefs. Scriptures, architecture, and works of art are all relics of the amazing history. Other attractions to see include the Muktinath Temple, the Annapurna Sanctuary, Swayambhunath, the Boudhanath Stupa, the Rishikesh Complex of Ruru Kshetra, the Mustang Caves, the Kopan Monasteries, and others.
Each city is rich in culture and local folklore, thus there is an endless number of historical landmarks. These locations are in safe hands since this antiquity has been maintained and every generation is well-informed of their heritage. Each city will inspire amazement in a tourist or pilgrim, so do your best to discover!
We presented the best religious places to visit in Nepal. The Himalayas and Nepal’s beautiful hills surround the exquisite valley that is Kathmandu. Travelling once could sate your wanderlust and strengthen your emotional connection to nature. So actually, Nepal’s Kathmandu is a little slice of paradise and if you’re planning to visit places in Kathmandu refer to this article by informalguru.