Nepal is known for its beautiful and serene temples, which are some of the most beautiful in the world. From ancient Hindu temples to Buddhist shrines, the temples in Nepal are a must-see for any traveler. With hundreds of temples located throughout the country, it can be hard to know which ones to visit.
To help, we’ve put together a list of the most famous temples in Nepal. From the grandeur of Pashupatinath Temple to the peaceful atmosphere of Boudhanath Stupa, these temples are must-see attractions for any traveler. Whether you’re a spiritual seeker or just a sightseer, these temples in Nepal will provide an unforgettable experience.
This blog post will cover 10 of the most famous temples in Nepal and provide an overview of their history, culture, and significance. From the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu to the Changu Narayan Temple in Bhaktapur, these temples are some of the most iconic sites in the country and a must-see for any visitor.
List of 10 Most Famous Temples in Nepal
Nepal is home to a variety of ancient temples and religious sites, making it an ideal destination for any traveler interested in exploring the region’s unique culture and history. From the famed Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu to the majestic Manakamana Temple in Gorkha, there are countless incredible temples in Nepal that are worth seeing. Here we are highlighting the 10 of the most famous and iconic temples in Nepal – a must see for any traveler!
1. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is the most famous temple in Nepal. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Pashupatinath. Located on the banks of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu, this temple has been a place of worship since the 5th century and is considered one of the oldest Hindu temples in the world.
The main temple is open to Hindus only, but visitors can get a glimpse of its impressive pagoda-style architecture from outside. There are various other temples and monuments within the complex.
Apart from its religious significance, Pashupatinath Temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rich cultural heritage.
Read Our Complete Blog on Pashupatinath Temple
2. Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanth Stupa is one of the most ancient stupas in Nepal. Located in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, its massive mandala makes it the largest spherical stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world. Boudhanata Stupa holds both historical and religious importance for Buddhists and Hindus.
The stupa is shaped like a mandala and looks more like the Gyantse of Tibet. The white-washed dome is an architectural splendour and perfectly complements the all-seeing-eyes of Gautam Buddha that symbolizes awareness. The first stupa was built around AD 600 and it was renovated by the Licchavi rulers in the 8th century. The Tibetan merchants have also rested and offered prayers here for several centuries.
Hundreds of prayer flags adorn the stupa and its surrounding area, giving it a unique and beautiful look. There are also several small shrines and monasteries located around the stupa, where devotees can go to meditate or learn more about Buddhism. Visitors to the site can explore the surrounding area, including shops selling souvenirs and traditional items, as well as restaurants serving delicious local cuisine.
Boudhanath Stupa is among one of the major tourists attraction centre in Kathmandu. It also has been in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal since 1979 A.D.
One of the most ancient and famous temples in Nepal, the Swoyambhunath is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the Kathmandu Valley. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on it. Between them, the number one in Devanagiri script is painted in the fashion of a nose.
It is located on the top of a hill. The site has two access points: a long staircase leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which is from the top of the hill to the east; and a car road around the hill from the south leading to the south-west entrance.
This ancient temple complex is situated atop a hill overlooking the Kathmandu valley, providing a stunning view. The stupa consists of a white dome and a pair of eyes on all four sides. It is believed that these eyes represent the “all-seeing wisdom” of the Buddha. The stupa also has several shrines and statues dedicated to various Buddhist deities. Visitors can climb the 365 steps to reach the top of the hill and visit the various shrines and enjoy the breathtaking views.
4. Changu Narayan Temple
One of the most famous temples in Nepal is Changu Narayan Temple. Located at the hilltop in the village of Changu in the Bhaktapur district, it is the oldest temple in Nepal, dating back to the fourth century. The temple stands atop a high hill overlooking the village and valley below, offering breathtaking views of the countryside.
Visitors to Changunarayan Temple can enjoy stunning views of the Kathmandu Valley below, as well as explore the many sculptures and carvings that adorn the walls. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, offering a unique insight into Nepal’s rich cultural heritage.
Built in the traditional Nepali style of architecture, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is surrounded by four courtyards. Inside, there is a large stone platform with carved images depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and an inner sanctum that houses the statue of Lord Vishnu. A bronze statue of Garuda – Lord Vishnu’s mount – is also located on the premises.
The temple compound is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus, who come here to offer their prayers and offerings to Lord Vishnu. There are also several smaller shrines and temples located on the grounds, making Changu Narayan Temple one of the most important religious sites in Nepal. Visitors can explore the many intricate carvings and sculptures throughout the temple complex and take in the rich history and culture of this beautiful country.
5. Manakamana Temple
Located in Gorkha district of Nepal, Manakamana Temple is one of the most famous temples in Nepal. This ancient temple is a pilgrimage site for Hindus who come to offer their prayers and offerings to goddess Bhagwati. Manakamana Temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati. According to Hindu vedas, the Goddess Bhagwati is the form of Durga, a powerful female deity who protects her devotees from all kinds of evil. The temple itself stands at an elevation of 1,300 meters and can be accessed via cable car or trekking trails.
The Manakamana Temple is known for its religious significance and spiritual energy. People who visit the temple report feeling a sense of peace and clarity when they enter the premises. At the heart of the temple lies the holy shrine dedicated to goddess Bhagwati, where devotees pray and make offerings to gain divine blessings. Additionally, there are numerous small shrines that are devoted to other gods and goddesses such as Shiva, Parvati, and Vishnu.
The temple is also a great spot for travelers looking to experience nature and culture in Nepal. The trekking trails surrounding the temple provide breathtaking views of lush green valleys, forests, and wildlife. Plus, visitors can take part in traditional festivals and cultural activities organized by local communities around the area.
No trip to Nepal is complete without a visit to Manakamana Temple, which is why it remains one of the most famous temples in Nepal. So if you’re looking for a truly spiritual experience in Nepal, then Manakamana Temple should definitely be on your list!
6. Janaki Temple
Janaki Temple is the most popular Hindu temple in the Terai region of Nepal. It is also one of the most historical ancient temples in Nepal. Located in the Janakpur of Dhanusha district, Janaki Temple is fully dedicated to Goddess Sita, also known as Mother Janaki.
It is fully built in bright white and is constructed in an area of 1,480 sq.km that makes it the largest temple in Nepal. One of the best things about Janaki Temple is it is beatifully and brilliantly constructed in a mixed style of Mughal and Hindu architecture of ancient Nepal. The temple is a three-storied structure completly made of stone and marble.
Janaki Temple holds the special place among the Hindus because of its connection to the epic Ramayana. It is built by Queen Vrisha Bhanu of Tikamgarh, India. It is said that the cost of construction of this temple was Nine hundred thousands of gold coins or Nine lakhs. Therefore, this temple is also known as “Nau Lakha Mandir” which means Temple of Nine Lakhs.
Thousands of pilgrims from Nepal, India, and other countries visit Janaki Temple every year.
7. Muktinath Temple
Located at the Muktinath Valley at the foot path of Thorong La mountain pass in the Mustang district of Nepal, Muktinath Temple is the biggest Lord Vishnu temple in Nepal. Because of the fact that it is sitatued at the height of 3,800 meters above the sea-level, it is one of the world’s highest temples. Muktinath Temple is a sacred temple for both Hindu and Buddhist.
For Hindus, Muktinath is very sacred because it is one of the Char Dham of Nepal and is also considered as the 106th among the 108 Divya Desham that are considered sacred by Sri Vaishanava. The central shrine of Muktinath Temple is considered to be one of the eight most-sacred shrines for Hindus in the world.
For Buddhist, Muktinath temple is very sacred because it is an important place for dakinis and is one of the twenty-four Tantric places for Buddhists.
Muktinath is the only place on the Earth that hosts all five elements (fire, water, sky, earth and air) from which all the material things in the universe are made. Along with the ambient earth, air, and sky, there is a water spring co-located with a flame fueled by naturally occurring gas outflow-giving the appearance of the water itself burning. No other co-located water source and burning gas is known to exist.
Because of all these interesting things about this holy temple, Muktinath is among the places that should be listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal.
8. Dakshinkali Temple
Not only Kathmandu Valley, but the places around it also have many temples. Daskshinkali Temple is one of them. Located about 22 KM outside of Kathmandu in the southwest direction and about 1 km outside the village of Pharping, there is a Dakshinkali Temple which is one of the major Hindu temples in Nepal. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali.
According to Shiva Purana and other Hindu vedas, Goddess Kali is said to be the incarnation of Goddess Annapurna who herself is the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. “Anna” means “Food” and “Purna” means “Fulfull”. That’s why it is believed that visiting this temple fulfills the need of food for human beings.
This temple holds the ancient, historical, and religious importances for Hindus in Nepal. Dakshinkali is one of the major tourists attractions in Nepal and is one of the popular hiking destinations in Nepal. Thousands of visitors and pilgrimes visit this temple throughout the year.
9. Mayadevi Temple
Mayadevi is a sacred temple for Buddhists. It is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in the Lumbini of Nepal. This temple is a site which is considered as a birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Alongside this temple, there is a sacred pool known as pushkarni and a sacred garden.
A discovery conducted by an international team of archaelogists by digging under the temple discovered the remains of an ancient shrine in November 2013 that dated back before 550 BCE. According to many researchers, this is the earliest Buddhist Shrine in the world.
Therefore, Mayadevi Temple is considered very sacred for the people following Buddhism. Thousands and thousands of domestic and international pilgrimes visit this temple every year to pray, meditate, and feel enlightment.
10. Chinnamasta Bhagwati Temple
After Janaki Temple, Chinnamasta Bhagwati Temple is the most popular Hindu temple situated in the Terai region of Nepal. It is one of the most ancient temples in Nepal. The temple was established as a Siddha Peetha by Shaktishimhadeva, the fifth ruler of Karnata dynasty in the 13th Century.
Temple is situated in the Chinnamasta Rural Municipality of Saptari district, 10 KM far from Rajbiraj near the Nepal-India border. It is the oldest, most revered holy place and prominent worshiped place in the Terai region. This temple is more popular by its historical name “Shakhada Bhagwati”. The temple is now known as Chinnamasta Bhagwati because the goddess head has been missing.
This is probably the only Hindu temple in Nepal that had faced invasion and damaged by Mughals. In 1324 CE, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, the sultan of Delhi invaded Bengal and on his way back to Delhi, the Tughlaq armies crossed through present-day Saptari to reach Simraungadh and caused damaged to the temple and the idol of goddess Bhagwati.
Chinnamasta Bhagwati Temple is one of the major temples in Nepal that attracts thousands of visitors and devoters from Nepal and India throughout the year.
We hope you like reading this blog post and get to know about these famous temples in Nepal. There are thousands of small and big temples each having its own uniqueness in Nepal. These temples in Nepal having been reflecting the rich ancient cultural and religions of Nepal.
If you are a foreigner and are planning to visit Nepal, make sure to visit some of these famous temples in Nepal.
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