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Nepal also houses many Hindu and Buddhist temples, in addition to mountains and valleys. The history of the nation dates back to thousands of years and is renowned for the planet's oldest holy sites.
Followers of both Hinduism and Buddhism consider these religious places to be worthy of their rebirth and many devotees and worshippers visit these holy places every year. Today in this article, we speak about the 15 sites of sanctity distributed across Nepal.
Any place considered sacred by a group of faith or a cult is referred to as a holy place. Typically they're places of unique religious interest.
People are visiting these places to pray for a happy, trouble-free life and in the expectation that their lord will grant their wishes. Pilgrim-goers usually visit such sites.
Many sites in the world are considered sacred to religious groups such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslims, Christianity, and many others.
Nepal is known mostly for the ancient Hindu and Buddhist holy places, although it is a secular republic. Hinduism is followed by 81.3 per cent of Nepalese people. Buddhism is around 4.4 per cent, while Muslims and Christians are 3.0 per cent.
Locals and visitors visit these religious sites during festivals, holidays, family gatherings, religious observances, and celebrations.
Nepal is considered one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, and the temples play a crucial role in promoting religious tourism.
Below we have enlisted a list of holy places and temples for you to visit during 2020. They are:
The above mentioned holy sites have been described in brief below.
The Temple of Pashupatinath, situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, is one of Nepal's most visited and oldest Hindu holy sites.
The Temple is situated in the capital's eastern side and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This holy spot, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is among the four most important godly places in all of Asia devoted to Shiva.
Established during the 5th century, Pashupatinath was reconstructed during the reign of the Malla Dynasty. The platform is believed to have been around since the beginning of the millennium.
The main Temple is constructed with silver-plated roofs in pagoda style and has wood carvings depicting Shiva's story. The roofs and the Gajur had been made of gold during the time of the kings, and the temple doors were made of silver.
This religious Buddhist site is situated in the northeastern part of Kathmandu and is 11 km from the capital city centre. Boudhanath is listed as a historical site by the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stupa is considered one of the biggest Buddhist stupas in the world.
The giant mandala of the stupa makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal which holds Kassapa Buddha's remains.
The stupa lies on the ancient road from Tibet which leads from the village of Sankhu into the Kathmandu Valley. Several Tibetan Buddhists now reside in the Boudha region.
Swayambunath is situated on the west side of the Kathmandu Valley and is an ancient holy site for Buddhist followers.
Swoyambu, better known as Swayambahu, means self-sprung, and the hill is well-known for the varieties of trees that grow thereon. Better known as Monkey Temple, it is popular among tourists.
The religious complex consists of a large Buddhist stupa, temple cluster, and shrines from the Licchavi era. A Tibetan monastery, library, and the museum have been added to the Swayambhu complex in recent years.
The stupa's exterior is decorated with Lord Buddha's eyes and hair, and the digit one is depicted as a nose in the Devanagri script in between those eyes.
You can access Swayambunath by two means; taking the long staircase or a car-road that leads to the site's south-west entrance. Around the site are many stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and hostels.
Located in Langtang National Park, Gosiakunda or Holy Lake is a religious Hindu site and a popular destination for trekking. It is known for being the homely abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri.
Religious scriptures like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Vishnu Purana, and Bhagwat Purana describe Gosaikunda's origin during the time of Samundra Manthan when Shiva came to satisfy his thirst after drinking the poison from Kalakuta.
After swallowing the poisonous poison, the God of Death plunged his Trishula into the mountain to draw water.
Situated at the height of 4,830 m (14,370 ft), the lake stretches over 34 acres (13.8 ha ) of land in Nepal's Rasuwa District.
The Gosainkunda Lake complex, along with many other lakes, extends over 1030 hectares of land. Water from the lake is the Trishuli river's primary source.
Lumbini is best known as Gautam Buddha's birthplace, The Light of Asia. The place is located in Nepal's Rupandehi District and is one of the world's most visited religious sites. In 1997, Lumbini was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
According to Buddhist scriptures, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddartha Gautama in 563 BCE. Later the prince went to Bodh Gaya where he gained enlightenment and became Buddha.
Lumbini is the location of several ancient temples which are holy to Buddhist and Hindu followers. Lumbini's main attractions are the Temple of Mayadevi, Lumbini Garden, Ashok Pillar, and Puskarini (Holy Pond).
This holy site also contains several monasteries, temples, and the Lumbini International Research Center, funded from around the world by Buddhist organisations.
Manakamana Temple, situated in Nepal's Gorkha district, is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. The term Mankamana can be split into two words; Mana, meaning spirit, and Kamana meaning wish or award.
Rumour has it that Goddess Manakamana fulfils her devotees' wishes when they render a yatra to the holy shrine.
The Manakamana Temple lies at an altitude of 1,302 m (4,272 ft) above sea level, 12 km from Gorkha's main town. Located at the outskirts of Kathmandu, it lies about 140 km from Thankot.
We board a cable car after a drive to Kurintar, which then takes us to the temple premises. Hundreds of devotees visit the Manakamana Temple each day via a short 2.8 km trip from Kuringtar by cable car.
It is a holy Hindu temple in Mustang, Nepal, situated at the foot of the Thorong La Mountain pass. The Temple rises 3,800 m above sea level and is the tallest temples in the world.
This Vishnu temple lies in the 106th location of the 108 Divya Desam total mentioned by the Sri Vaishnava sect.
The Temple is sacred also to Buddhists who call it Chumig Gyatsa, meaning Hundred Waters, referring to the Temple's 108 freshwater taps. Several pilgrim goers of Hinduism visit this holy place to take a dip in the taps of freshwater.
It is a main holy site at the intersection of river Krishna Gandaki and river Seti Gandaki. The term Ghat means a crematory site and Devghat is considered one of the last sacred practices of a person's holiest sites in Hindu mythology.
The holy place is best known for the Ashram of Valmiki where the revered Hindu author Valmiki had retired. Other site attractions include Triveni Temple, Kalika Temple of Someswar, Pandavanag Fort, and Kabilaspur Fort.
It is situated 7.3 km from Narayangarh, and 12 km from Sauraha. Here is celebrated the festival Maghey Sankranti which falls in January.
Pathibhara Devi Temple is one of the oldest holiest Hindu temples, situated in Taplejung district in the eastern Himalayan province of Nepal. The Temple itself is situated above sea level at the height of 3,794 m (12,444.32 ft) and acts as a secondary path to the Kanchenjunga Trek.
Nepalese and Indian tourists visit the Temple of Pathibhara Devi during holy festivals and occasions. The Goddess is believed to give wishes to anyone who comes to visit her sacred abode.
Like Muktinath, both Hindus and Buddhists hold the Temple sacred. During January and February, Pathbhara Devi Temple is covered in snow which attracts more tourists.
It is a sacred Hindu temple which sits on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River in Baglung District, Nepal. The Temple has the statue of Goddess Kali or Kalika and four entrances help to enter the central temple courtyard.
During Chaite-Dashain, a festival which is in the month of Chaitra, and in Bada Dashain, the Temple is packed with adorers.
The temple grounds are illuminated with oil lamps, and poojas and other rituals are performed by pilgrims. Pratap Narayan Singh Malla founded the Kalika Bhagwati Temple while returning from his marriage with the daughter of King Manimukunda Sen.
The famous Temple of Badimalika lies in Nepal's Bajura district. This Hindu temple of Badimalika is devoted to the worship of Goddess. Two district priests from Bajura and Kalikot look to the worship of the deity.
During Malika Chaturdashi, a big festival celebrated during the month of Bhadra, Hindus visit the Temple at an altitude of 4,200 m.
Badimalika is also popular among hikers in the Grasslands who call it Adventure. The place was currently enlisted as a trekking trail and sponsored by TAAN (Nepal Association of Trekking Agencies).
The hilltop complex is situated in Nepal's Pyuthan district and is designed to honour the sacred role of cows in Hindu culture. It was established by Swami Hamsananda who purchased the land from Pyuthan's landlord during 1941.
During Baisakh Purnima festivals in April and Kartik Purnima in October Swargadwari is packed with worshippers from Nepal and India.
Popularly known as Dolaka Bhmisen, the Bhimeshwar temple lies in the Dolakha district, Nepal. The roofless Temple is home to a significant Deity in Dolakha, Shiva Ling and Bhimeswaar.
In Ram Navami, Bala Chaturdashi, Bhima Ekadashi, and Chaite-Dashain, Hindus visit the holy spot.
Khaptad Baba Ashram, a place of religious importance to the Hindus lie near the Khaptad National Park headquarters. The Ashram is situated far west of Nepal and is thought to have been residing for five decades with Khaptad Baba.
Swami Sachchidananda or Khaptad Baba was a holy saint who walked through places like Illam, Kalinchowk, Swargadwari and Mushikot along the mountainous and hilly regions of Nepal.
In the 1940s the holy man eventually settled in Khaptad Valley where he continued worshipping and meditating. The Ashram is packed with devotees, who come to worship Lord Shiva during the full moon of July and August.
This temple lies in the district of Baitadi in the western part of Nepal. The Temple can be reached from the Dasharath Chand Highway, after an hour-long jeep ride.
Although the place is rich in vegetation and freshwater wealth, followed by Asia's deepest cave, it is yet to be given the status as a national tourism site in Nepal.