Pilgrimages Sites in Nepal
Nepal is premier adventure-cum-culture tourist destination. This is the country of unmatched beauty and cultural diversity. This country is home to eight of the 14 mountains above 8000 meters and hundreds of other snow-capped peaks are located in the northern part. It offers a wide range of attractions to tourists. Given here are some of the major Pilgrimage Destination in Nepal and are arranged starting from East to West.
Located at the distance of 19.4 km east to Phungling of Taplejung district at the altitude of 3794 m. Pathibhara Devi or Mukkumlung is regarded as one of the holiest place for both Buddhist and Hindus. Worshipers from various parts of Nepal as well as India visit the temple during special occasions seeking spiritual fulfilment and blessing from the powerful Pathibhara Devi. The devotee of the Pathibhara also included the ex Royal family of Nepal. The pilgrims sacrifice animals and bring gold and silver as offering to the Pathibhara Devi. The best time to visit is from March to June and September to November.
Situated at the junction of four district, Sunsari, Dhankuta, Udaypur and Bhojpur, Barah Kshetra is located in work no. 1 one of Barah kshetra Villagevdc in sunsari district. It is one of the major religious destinations of Hindus. The temple is open all around the year for every religious function. The five days fair held between kartik sukla ekadasi to poornima is the most auspicious one among the religious fairs held in the area. Every year thousand of devotees gather in the area to attend the event. Similarly, the two day mage sankranti festival also attracts the number of visitors to the area. Festivals like poush aaushi, ram navami, basanta panchami holi new year and baisakh sukla dwadasi among others are also celebrated with large fanfair in the area.
RAM JANAKI TEMPLE
Situated at Janakpur is one of the most holy places for Hindus all over the world. According to various literature and legends, king Janak ruled this area during the Ramayan period. It is also the birth place of Sita, wife of Lord Ram. Their marriage ceremony is believed to have occurred in the nearby Bibaha Mandap. Various relics dating back to the 11th and 12th century ad can be found here. The temple architecture though is of a much later period. The style is unique with a blend of classical and neo-classical design consisting the elements of fortification within a unique environment setting. The temple was built by a queen from central India in 1911ad. It was built at cost of rupees nine hundred thousand. Due to this fact the temple is also called Naulakha Mandir or temple of nine lakh rupees.
Situated 133 km east from Kathmandu, Dolakha Bhimsen Temple is located in Charikot, the district headquarter of Dolakha, a small hilly district situated in the lap of Mt. Gauri Shankar, regarded as the abode of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. Bhimeshwor temple also known as Dolakha Vimsen is the biggest attraction of the district. The temple is visited by Hindus from not only form different parts of Nepal but also from India. Local people believe that the main shrine of the temple sweats if the country faces any crisis. Because of this belief, thousands of people visit and perform pooja in this temple every year. The temple is believed to have been constructed during the Kirant Regime according to Nepalese history. The temple takes festive look during the Ram Navami, Bhim Ekadashi, Bala Chaturdashi and other festivals. Special rituals are performed on every Tuesday and Saturday by the Newars who regard Bhimeshwor is their family deity.
A three feet tall finely carved black stone studded with jewelleries, Palanchok Bhagabati is one of the most beautiful and important Goddess in Nepal. It is locate in Kavre Palanchowk District and the name of the district itself is name after the Goddess, It lies at the istance of 58 kms. east from Kathmandu. The Temple attracts large number of pilgrims during Dashain festival and the Temple is specialyy visited on Tuesday and Saturday. Animal sacrifices are also offered to the Goddess. It is also believed that Naxal Bhagbati and Shobha Bhagbati in Kathmandu are the younger sisters of Palanchowk Bhagbati. All the three idols are said to be made my same sculptor.
Pashupatinath Temple located in Kathmandu is the biggest temple complexes in South Asia. The temple is the ultimate Pilgrimage for Hindus throughout the world. As a result the area is always swarmed in by Hindus from different parts of the country as well as from India. Located at the banks of holy Bagmati River, the two-storied pagoda temple of Pashupatinath, houses the five-faced statue of Lord Shiva. Apart from the main shrine, there are numerous temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses in and around the Pashupatinath temple area.
Historians believe that the history of Swayambhunath Stupa is as old as the history of the Kathmandu Valley. It was immersed below water when the whole Kathmandu Valley was a big lake. When Manjushree cut a gorge and drained the water of the lake, a stupa was build around the lotus that emitted brilliant light. There are numerous monasteries in and around the Swayambhunath Stupa area. The area is a landmark in Kathmandu Valley as it provides an excellent view of the Kathmandu Valley.
Bauddhanath is one of the largest stupas in entire South Asia. Situated in Bouddha, a short drive from city center, the white mound looms 36 meters overhead. Believed to have been constructed in the 5th century, there are many monasteries around the stupa as the area has been inhabited by people having faith in Buddhism. Buddhist monks on maroon robes are seen circumbulating the stupa with prayer wheels on their hands. Numerous small stupas are located at the based.
The most enigmatic statue of Hindu God Bishnu, Budhanilakantha is located at a distance of 10 kms from the center of Kathmandu. It is located at the base of the Shivapuri Hill and is the largest and most beautiful stone carving in all of Nepal. It is also the most enigmatic. Carved from a single block if black basalt stone of unknown origin, the statue of Budhanilakantha is 5 meters in length and it lies in a reclining position inside a recessed tank of water also representing the cosmic sea which is 13 meters in length. Also referred as the sleeping Bishnu, or Jalakshyan Narayan, the statue depicts the deity reclining on the twisting coils of the cosmic serpent Shesh, the eternal, multi-headed king of the serpent deities knoiwn as Nagas, and also is the servant of Lord Bishnu. Budhanilakantha receives large numbers of pilgrims during Haribodhini Ekadashi, which takes place during the 11th day of the Hindu month of Kartik(October-November). It is the major festival for the year in celebration of the awakening of Lord Bishnu from his long sleep.
The temple of Changu Narayan located a top a hill in Bhaktapur district is dedicated to Lord Bishnu. The temple is one of the most ancient temple complexes in Nepal as is houses the inscription of Mandeva, the first historial King of Nepal. The temple, believed to have been constructed by some of the best samples of stone, wood and metal craft. There are many statues and inscriptions in the temple are that are culturally and archaeologically important.
Gosainkunda is one of the most sacred pilgrimages for all Hindus. Situated at an altitude of 4360m above sea level in Rasuwa district, Gosainkunda is a glacier-fed lake which later drains into the Trisuli River. Apart from Gosainkunda, there are three other lakes-Surya Kunda, Bhairav Kunda and Nag Kunda. The place wears a festive look during the janai Poornima when hundreds of people throng to the sacred lake. Trek to Gosainkunda begains either from district headquarters Dhunche or from Sundarijal.
The temple of Manakamana or the wish fulfilling goddess is situated in Gorkha district of Western Nepal, is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagabati, an incarnation of Parvati. Built during the 17th century, it is believed that Goddess Bhagwati grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her. The temple is located on a ridge 1302 meters above sea level and overlooks the river valleys of Trisuli in the south and Marshyandi in the west. The temple can be reached via cable car from Kurintar along Prithvi highway, trekking or by road from 10 kilo of Gorkha District.
Located at the diastance of 7 kms from Narayanghad of Chitwan District, Devghat is the town at the confluence of the Sapta Gandaki and Krishna Gandaki rivers and is one of the holiest places in Hindu mythology as well as a holy place for Hindu gods. Devghat is home to various temples and caves of Hindu gods, goddesses, and saints including Goddess Sita's cae, Bashistha Cave, Radha Krishna Temple, Galeshwor Temple, Sita Ram Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Sankaracharya Temple, Bageshori Temple, and Bishwa Shanti Dharmasala among others. Mahes Sanyas, Hari Hara, Sarana Gati, Galeshwor and Yogi Narahari Nath are ashrams where various religious activities are performed all year around. Huge gatherings are observed each year during Makar Sankranti making it one of the largest religious gatherings in Nepal. Hindi pilgrims bathe at the junction of the Krishna Gandaki river well known for its rare Saligram Sheela(holy stone), which Hindu devotees worship as Lord Bishnu.
Gorkha is the ancient seat of the Shah dynasty which use rule the country until two years ago. Gorkha is the birth place of late Prithivi Narayan Shah, who unified small territories into a strong nation. It is because of Gorkha that Nepali soldier inherited their name as Gorkhalis. Situated on the top of a hill around thousand feet above the Gorkha bazzar, the Gorkha place is the major attractions in Gorkha. The palace complex offers attractive views of mountain in the likes of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manasulu, Himchuli, Lamjung Himal and other peaks in the north and lush green valley in the south. On the south-west side of palace is the temple of Goddess Gorakhkali. There is also famous cave sheltering the statue of Gorakhnath Baba (sage). It is believe that the name of Gorkha was derived from the name of this sage, whose blessings inspired king Prithivi Narayan Saha for the unification of Nepal. The temple of Gorakhnath is another attraction in Gorkha.
Located in Muktinath Valley at the foot of Thorang La mountain pass at an elevation of 3710 m. Muktinath is a sacred place both for Hindus and as well as Buddhists. It is situated at mustang district of western Nepal. Hindus refer the places as Mukti Kshetra or the place of salvation. The temple is also considered to be the 105th among the available 108 Divya Desan. The temple houses the Saligrama sila, which is considered a form of lord Bisnu. It is also one of the 51 Sakthi peeths. Buddists call it Chumig Gyatsa, which means hundred waters in Tibetan language. For Tibetan Buddhists, Muktinath is a very important place of Dakinis, Goddesses known as sky dancers and one of the 24 Tantric places.
Lumbini, the holy birth place of Lord Buddha and the fountain of world peace, lies in Rupandehi district in mid-western Nepal. It is believe that Mayadevi the spouse of Sakya king Suddhodhan- gave birth to Siddhartha, who would later become lord Buddha, near Pushkarini pond in the middle of sal forest on the day of Baisakh Poornima(Full Moon day) in 6-3 BC. Buddhists literatures mention that the newly born Siddhartha took seven steps and uttered epoch making message to the suffering humanity immediately after his birth. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world. According to the Lumbini master plan, the area is divided into three areas – Sacred garden, monastic zone and Lumbini Village-sprawled over 1 square mile each. There are different archaeological sites around Lumbini in likes of Tilaurakot, Kudan, Ramagrama, Niglihawa and others.
CHANDAN NATH TEMPLE
Chandannath Mandir is one of the famous Hindu temples in Karnali Zone. It is located at Khalanga Bazzar of Jumla district in western Nepal. Festival likes Shivaratri, Dashain and Tihar draws the huge numbers of devotees towards the temple. it is believe that a person named Chandannath came to the place all the way from Kasmir, India and he brought along the statue if god Narayan and put it at the place where the temple was then built . In this temple is a lingo which changed every year. The length of lingo is more than 52 fit and locals believed that if the lingo breaks while changing then something bad will occur. Within the complex are the temples of Bhairav, Krishna and Hanumaan.