Nepal is a country with a rich religious and cultural heritage. It is home to hundreds of ancient heritage sites, many of which are of religious significance. These sites attract pilgrims from all over the world, who come to experience the country's unique spiritual atmosphere. Here are the top 10 Hindu pilgrimage sites in Nepal highly recommended to visit during your travel.
Top 10 Hindu Pilgrimage Sites in Nepal
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Pashupatinath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism. It is in Kathmandu, Nepal, on the banks of the Bagmati River. The temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Asia for Hindus and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple was built in the 5th century and has been renovated and expanded numerous times over the centuries. The current structure is a complex of buildings, including the main temple, several smaller shrines, and several monasteries. The main temple is a pagoda-style structure, with a gold-plated roof and a spire. The inner sanctum of the temple houses a Shiva lingam, a sacred stone that is believed to represent the formless essence of Shiva.
The temple complex is surrounded by a few other temples and shrines, dedicated to a variety of Hindu deities. The temple complex is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Buddhists from all over the world.
The temple is especially crowded during the festival of Shivaratri, which is celebrated in February or March. On this day, millions of Hindus from all over the world come to the temple to worship Lord Shiva. The temple is also crowded during the festival of Teej (women's festival), which is celebrated in August or September. On this day, Nepalese women fast and pray for the long lives and prosperity of their families.
Pashupatinath Temple is a beautiful and sacred place and is a must-visit for anyone who is traveling to Nepal.
Here are some additional details about the temple:
- The temple is open to Hindus only. Non-Hindus are allowed to visit the temple complex but are not allowed to enter the main temple.
- The temple is in the Kathmandu Valley, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The temple is a popular tourist destination and is visited by millions of people each year.
- The temple is a significant cultural and religious landmark and is an important part of the history of Nepal.
Muktinath is another important pilgrimage site for both Hindu and Buddhist followers. The Temple is located in the Mustang district of Nepal, which is situated at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,500 ft) in the Mustang Valley, at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass. Muktinath is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Nepal and is visited by Hindus and Buddhists from all over the world.
The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. The temple complex consists of a few shrines and temples, including the main temple. The main temple is a three-story structure, with a golden roof and a spire. The inner sanctum of the temple houses a statue of Vishnu.
The history of Muktinath Temple goes back more than 3000 years. This site has great importance for both Hindu and Buddhist adherents. It is said that the Hindu god Brahma lit an eternal flame at the Jwalaji temple located in Muktinath.
Thousands of devotees visit here to worship Lord Vishnu. Muktinath is also known as Mukti Kshetra which translates to a place of salvation in the local dialect. The temple premise also has 108 water sprouts. It is believed that bathing under these sprouts cleanses you of your sins and offers salvation.
Among the several religious sites of Khotang, the Halesi Mahadve bears major significance to the Hindu devotees. The Halesi Mahadev temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and sports a Linga that lies inside a cave. Two pillars stand parallel on the north face of the Shiva Linga.
Also, a popular legend claims that sinners cannot pass through this passage. But upon confessing the wrongs committed, they can gain access through it. Thousands of Hindus visit this site to worship Lord Shiva. It is believed that worshiping here blesses the worshiper with prosperity, knowledge, and wisdom.
Swargadwari is another famous Hindu temple situated on a hilltop in Pyuthan District. It was founded by Guru Maharaja Narayan Khatri who devoted his life to the vicinity of herding and milking cows.
Thus, this temple is dedicated to the cows and their importance in the Hindu religion. Here, you can find a holy fire that is claimed to have been lit since Dwapar Yuga. The ash of firewood burnt here is believed to cure different physical disorders and diseases.
The Pathivara temple is one of the most popular temples in the Taplejung region. The legend behind the temple says that it is one of the Shakti Peethas; a location where parts of Goddess Sati fell while Lord Shiva carried her dead body.
Hindus from Nepal and India visit Pathivara to worship the goddess with the belief that their wishes will be fulfilled upon visiting the temple and making offerings. The temple can only be reached on foot.
Visiting the temple also takes you across the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area where you witness an array of biodiversity.
When you visit the lake city of Pokhara, you will notice the marvelous lake temple Talbarahi. Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, this temple lies on an island in the Phewa Lake. It is said that this temple was built in the 18th century.
It has been maintained and renovated over the years and is now one of the must-visit locations in Pokhara. This temple holds tremendous value for Hindus and is a center of worship.
Devotees visit here on Saturdays with animals to sacrifice and offer to the goddess in hopes of having their wishes fulfilled.
After Talbarahi, Bindhyabasini is another major Hindu temple in Pokhara. It is located at a height of 3,000 ft. and offers splendid views of the city and a few mountains such as Macchapuchhre and Annapurna.
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is also known as Shakti or Kali and has many other manifestations. Devotees generally make visits here to worship Durga or for marriage ceremonies.
This temple is one of the first Shakti Peethas of western Nepal. Rituals and ceremonies performed here follow strict Hindu culture.
The Guheshwori temple is another important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists located inside the Pashupatinath area. Considered a symbol of power, it is also one of the locations of Shakti Peethas.
Guheshwori was built in the 17th century by the then King Pratap Malla. This temple is known to be the location to perform Tantric rituals as well. Devotees visit this temple to worship and gain strength.
The interior of this temple is unique in comparison to other temples. Inside, there is a flat figure parallel to the ground instead of a standing statue. Next to it is a pond known as Bhairav Kunda.
The Manakamana temple is one of the most popular as well as important sites for Hindus. Located in the Gorkha district, People can reach this holy temple by road and with the help of a cable car.
It is believed that by visiting Manakamana, one's wishes are fulfilled; Mana means heart and Kamana means wishes. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati who is an incarnation of the goddess Parvati.
The most popular time to visit Manakamana is during the festival of Dashain. Hundreds of pilgrims come to worship in hopes of having their wishes fulfilled. Atop the hill where Manakamana rests, you can also get splendid views of Manaslu and Annapurna.
The Dakshinkali temple is one of the most important Hindu sites located near Kathmandu city. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, a huge number of people even from Kathmandu visit Dakshinkali to worship the powerful goddess.
It is said that goddess Kali herself appeared in the dream of the then Malla king and commanded him to build the temple in that area. Goddess Kali is an incarnation of Parvati. Pilgrims visit the temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays to worship Kali.
With numerous Hindu religious sites that are of great importance, travelers can find peace and serenity while traveling in Nepal. But it does not matter what religion you follow, exploring the religious heritage will give you a sense of spiritual pleasure.
Along with cultural majesty, these destinations also offer insight into the Hindu religion. So, choose Nepal for your next trip and explore these architectural riches.