The Changu Narayan temple is popular in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. It is sacred, historical, and a wonderful monument due the religious significance. The Changu Narayan temple is a popular and world-renowned pilgrimage and historical site of Nepal.
Changu Narayan is the oldest temple in Nepal, having many historical, religious, and cultural attributes. The history of Changu Narayan dates back to around 3000 years. Changu Narayan Temple is a 325 AD temple. The daughter of the Kashmiri king, Champak, married the prince of Bhaktapur. In her remembrance, the temple was named Changu.
The Famous Vishnu Temple
As the legend goes, a Gwala has brought a cow from a Brahmin. The cow was popular for producing milk in large quantities. Gwala used to take cows for grazing in the Changu Narayan area. In the evening, when Gwala was milking the cow, he got less milk. This process continues for a few days. One day Gwala decided to follow the Cow in the daytime in the grazing field. He became surprised after seeing that the cow was feeding a black person who just appeared from a tree.
The Gwala cut down the tree but surprisingly fresh human blood came from the tree. He became worried thinking that he committed a huge crime and started crying. Lord Vishnu appeared and told the Gwala about the story of Brahmin’s father and how he freed him unwittingly. The Brahmin’s father was cursed to become a Garuda, he wandered around the earth and finally descended on the hill of Changu. When Gwala cut down the tree, Lord Vishnu was beheaded and freed from his sins. Ever since the site has been sacred. Even today, we can find the Brahmin’s descendants as the priests of Changu Narayan and Gwala as conservators.
Listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Changu Narayan temple lies on the top of the hill surrounded by Champak forest. It remains a milestone in the history of Nepali architecture. The ancient embossed work in Changu Narayan is popular all over the world. The Changu Narayan temple was also enlisted in UNESCO’s world heritage site in 1979.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Changu Narayan temple holds a huge religious significance. Moreover, there are many small temples too. Hindus and Buddhists both worship at this temple. Hindus worship here to Lord Vishnu and Buddhists Hari Hari Bahan Lokeshwar. At the entrance gate, the carvings of snakes are very artistic. Chakra, Sankha, Kamal, and Khadga are also situated on the top of a stone pillar. The oldest stone inscription of Nepal was erected here during the time of the Licchavi Kingdom.
There are many carvings, statues, and inscriptions around the Changu Narayan temple. The 16th-century sculpture of Vaikuntha Vishnu, a temple of Chhinnamasta, the sculpture of Vishworup, and the 7th-century sculpture of Trivikram Vishnu, Narasimha, Kileshwar, Garuda is situated there. The pillars and inscriptions of historical significance are there around the Changu Narayan premises. Furthermore, the ancient stone steps, spouts, ponds, and many other monuments make it a perfect archaeological place to visit.
There are many different festivals and fairs organized on various occasions. The ‘Changu Narayan Jatra’, ‘Mahasanan', ‘Jugadi Navami’, and ‘Haribodhini Ekadashi’ are some of the oldest fairs. During the massive earthquake in 2015, the temple was affected. Later they renovated the temple. Except for locals, all foreigners must obtain an entrance permit to get into the temple.