Nepal is a country which houses tremendous religious and cultural values. With hundreds of ancient heritage sites, the religious beauty of this country goes beyond comparison. Here, you gain an exceptional level of spiritual traveling experience.
As such, the country is one of the biggest hubs for Hinduism. Thus, religious sites hold immense value for not just Hindus in Nepal, but those all over the world.
Amongst the thousands that visit Nepal to explore the beauty of this country, a major portion is Hindus that come along to fulfill religious deeds. Here is a list of the 10 destinations highly recommended for Hindu tourists.
The Pashupatinath is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most important religious sites in Asia for Hindus. It was built in the 5th century and has been maintained since then.
It is also one of the seven UNESCO world heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. The temple has a large complex and lies on both banks of the Bagmati river.
The main temple is a pagoda styled structure with intricate carvings. The inner sanctum has a Shiva Lingam and facing its complex is one of the largest statues of Nandi bull.
The area has several other temples and statues dedicated to mostly Hindu and several Buddhist deities. Devotees of Lord Shiva visit here to fulfill their religious deeds and Hindus also come here for cremation.
The entire place lights up a notch on the day of Shivaratri. Thousands of Hindus from all over the world come here to worship Lord Shiva on this auspicious day.
Likewise, Teej is another festival that sees a lot of devotees. This festival is celebrated by Nepalese females to pray for the long lives and prosperity of their spouses.
Situated at the base of the Thorung Peak (6144m), the famous temple of Muktinath is located at the southern skirts of the Mustang Valley. This beautiful temple is located at an altitude of 3,860 meters and is also the gateway to Mustang from Manang.
As such, the history of the 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.
Hundreds 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 from your sins and offers salvation.
Among the several religious sites of Khotang, the Halesi Mahadev 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 at a hilltop in Pyuthan District. It was found by Guru Maharaja Narayan Khatri who devoted his life in the vicinity 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 of 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 as 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 town of Gorkha, one can reach this holy temple with the help of a cable car.
It is believed that by visiting Manakamana, one’s wishes are fulfilled; Mana meaning heart and Kamana meaning wishes. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati who is an incarnation of 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 to 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 who is an incarnation of Parvati. Pilgrims visit the temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays to worship Kali.
With numerous Hindu religious sites that 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 the cultural majesty, these destinations also offer insight into the Hindu religion. So, choose Nepal for your next trip and explore these architectural riches.