The southeast Asian country of Nepal has over 400 temples. The main religion in this country in Hinduism, with Buddhism the second-most prevalent. You will therefore find an incredible array of beautiful and historical Buddhist and Hindu temples and places of worship. We've chosen our top ten.
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This temple, located in Kathmandu, is one of the most famous temples in the whole of Nepal. It is an iconic building and is one of the holiest sites in Buddhism. It is located at the top of a hill, and can be reached by climbing 365 stone steps. The views of the surrounding landscape at the top are breathtaking. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple, as you will see many of these mischievous creatures around the temple and its surrounds. It is constructed with both a Buddhist and Hindu architectural style, with gold stupas and white domes.
The Pashupatinath Temple is located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. It is a famous Hindu temple that is visited by thousands of devotees yearly. Ornate and gilded, the temple also has wooden carvings and silver decorations. It is built in the two-tier pagoda style and is raised 23m off the ground. It exists for purpose of worshipping the Hindu deity Shiva. At this temple, the religious practice of scattering the ashes of cremated bodies down the river is conducted.
This temple is found within the city of Kathmandu, in the old city. It is considered to be a mini replica of the Swayambhunath temple. It also features golden stupas and white domes, and is set within a courtyard. It is over 300 years old, and was constructed for the purpose of allowing those devotees who may find it difficult to travel to the Swayambhunath to be able to have easier access to a temple in the old city.
The Changu Narayan Temple is found just outside of Kathmandu. It can be traced all the way back to the fourth century, and is considered to be the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley that is still utilised up to the present day. It is a Hindu temple. While its main dedication is to Vishnu, the preserver god, there are also shrines dedicated to various other Hindu deities found within the temple compound. Noteworthy qualities of this temple include its hilltop location, as well its collection of gorgeous statues and carvings.
Manakamana is another Hindu temple in Nepal. It is found in the region of Gorkha, 106km from Kathmandu. It is found high on a ridge overlooking the Trishuli River and surrounding valley landscape. It is reached via cable car. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati. It is believed that any wish that is made to the goddess at this temple will come true, so many people come to the temple to make their wishes. Newly married couples also go to this temple to obtain blessings for their new life.
This temple is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. At 3710m, it is one of the highest temples in the world, and is found at the base of the Thorong La mountain pass in the region of Mustang. It is constructed in a pagoda style and is dedicated to the god Vishnu.it is one of eight sacred places that together are called Svayam Vyakta Ksetras. In the outer courtyard of the temple, you will find 108 water spouts in the shape of bull heads. Freezing cold water from the Kali Gantaki River has been directed to flow from these spouts. Pilgrims will often stand underneath them to bathe in the water.
Budhanilkantha Temple is found near the Shivapuri Hills in the north of the Kathmandu Valley. It is another temple that is dedicated to the god Vishnu. It is an open-air temple that contains something unique: a huge statue of a sleeping Vishnu that is considered to be the biggest stone carving in Nepal. It is 5 metres long and is placed inside a tank of water that is 13m long (representing the ocean). The statue depicts Vishnu lying back on an image of Shehsa, the snake god. In Vishnu's four hands are different items representing
The remarkable statue is carved from a single piece of black basalt stone, and has made this one of Nepal's most famous temples.
Guhyeshwari Temple is another temple that is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. It can be found near to the Pashupatinath Temple, about 1km to the east. It is a sacred site, as it is believed that the body of Sati, wife of the deity Shiva, fell at the very spot where the temple now stands. The temple is considered to be a representation of female divinity. The temple is a simple structure, built in the Bhutanese pagoda style. Though it appears rather plain on the outside, the inside is beautifully decorated with floral patterns.
This temple is located in Kathmandu. Due to the high number of Tibetans living in the area, it is called Little Tibet. The stupa is one of the biggest in the country- it is so large, that people are allowed to walk on its enormous white dome. It features a golden tower, from which prayer flags drape down to the ground. The eyes of the Buddha are painted at the tower's base. The temple is classed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you visit, you will experience a spiritual atmosphere, as the temple is visited by thousands of Buddhist devotees daily. They walk around the dome, spinning prayer wheels as they go, while monks chant mantras. The region around the temple is just as atmospheric, as it contains the old monastery and also many cafes and restaurants.
Janaki Temple is located in Janakpur in southeast Nepal. It is an ancient Hindu temple that is dedicated to the goddess Sita, the wife of lord Ram. It is a holy site for Hindus and contains ancient relics that date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. It is a stunningly beautiful building, made of marble and stone and bright white in colour. It stands at 50m tall and has 60 rooms inside, outfitted with colourful glass, paintings, trellis windows, and mini towers. Its features domes with a mixture of both Islamic and Rajput styles. The temple is also called the Temple of Nine Lakh Rupees or Nau Lakhaa Mandir, because it cost nine hundred thousand rupees to construct it.
This 8-day tour of Nepal gives travellers a great introduction to their time in Nepal. It includes time in colourful Kathmandu, wildlife safaris in Chitwan NP, rafting options and the stunning mountain scenery around Pokhara.
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The village itself is small, with lots of plants, trees and charming lampposts. Strangely enough, this place will remind you of Hanoi in Vietnam. There you will also find beautiful buildings in the old style. But unlike Hanoi, Bandipur is much less touristy.
March is the start of one of Nepal's two annual peak tourist seasons and it's also when the temperatures have truly warmed up after winter – with the thawing of many high-altitude trekking trails, river levels primed for whitewater rafting, and some exciting cultural festivals.