Holy Sites in Nepal
many remarkable religious places, which reflect
the long history of Nepali art and architecture.
Below, we describe some of the famous religious
places of Nepal:
Ashram : The Balmiki Ashram is situated
in a forest on the banks of the Tribeni river,
at the south- western corner of the Royal Chitwan
National park. It was a retreat used by the great
Hindu sage, Balmiki. This is where Sita is said
to have lived with her two sons, Labha and Kusha,
after separating from Rama. Various statues were
unearthed in this area during an archeological
excavation in the late 60`s. Recently, a Temple
of Sita has been built here.
: Varahakshetra, located at the confluence
of the Saptakoshi and Koka rivers, is 20 km away
from a town in eastern Nepal- Dharan. Varahakshetra
is among the four great Hindu pilgrimages. Here,
the Boar- Varaha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu
is said to have is said to have killed the demon-
Hiranakshya. Apart form the main shrine dedicated
to Varaha, there are many other temples with images
of the Varaha in Varahakshetra. Every-year on
the first of Magh (November), a religious fare
takes place here.
: Devghat is situated 6 km to the north
of Bhaktapur, the gateway to the Royal Chitwan
National Park. On the day of the Makar Sankranti
festival in January pilgrims come here to take
holy dips in the Narayani, formed by the meeting
of the Kali gandaki and Trishuli. There is a settlement
of a community of elderly, retired people here.
Devghat can be reached by taking a daily flight
or bus service.
: Dhanushadham, a historical and religious
site, dates back to the time of the great epic-
Ramayana. It is located 18 km north-east of Janakpur
in the south- central region of Nepal. Dhanushadham
was the place where Lord Rama had broke Shiva`s
divine bow, a condition for winning the hand of
Sita in marriage. According to the epic, one of
the three pieces of the bow fell in the present
: Muktinath of religious importance to
both Hindus and Buddhists. The main shrine of
Muktinath is a pagoda-shaped temple dedicated
to the Lord Vishnu. In the walls around it are
108 water- spouts. The Jwala Mai temple nearby
has a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural
gas. Muktinath is set in an altitude of 3,800
m in the north-central part of Nepal. It is a
six- hour walk from the Jomsom airport. Helicopters
are also available.
Ridi is among the most popular religious places
in Nepal. Rikeshwor Narayan mandir, situated here,
is the local version of the Pashupatinath temple
with its auspicious Ghats (cremation grounds).
It is situated at the confluence of The Kali Gandaki
and the Ridi Khola, linked by a 50 km dirt road
to the hill resort town of Tansen.
During the Makar Sankranti festival, hundreds
of devotees from different parts of the world
throng the Dhanusha temple to worship the fossilized
bow fragments and to take ritual dips in the river.
Here, there are other temples dedicated to Ram
and Ganesh too.
: A lake is believed to have been created
by Lord Shiva when he thrust his Trishula (trident)
into a mountain to extract water so that he could
cool his stinging throat after he had swallowed
poison. There is a large rock in the center of
the lake, which is said to be the remains of a
Shiva shrine. People often claim that they see
Shiva lying in the water.Devotees gather here
in hordes on the full moon night of August to
take holy dips in the lake.
Gosaikunda is situated
at the altitude of 4380m to the north of Kathmandu
on the Langtang trekking trail. The holy lake
is a two day long trek from Dhunche, which can
be reached through an adventurous 118 km mountain
road from Kathmandu via Trishuli Bazaar. Small
hotels and pilgrim shelters are available here
: The temple of Manakamana, a very popular
pilgrimage in Nepal, is a temple of one of the
manifestations of the Hindu goddess Bhagawati.Bhagawati
is believed to have the power to fulfill wishes.
It lies 125 km to the west of Kathmandu. It is
a steep three- hour hike from Abu Khairenion the
Kathmandu-Gorkha highway. A cable car also takes
travelers to Manakamana.
: The capital of the former kingdom of
Tirahut, is the seat of a rich civilization, which
peaked between the 11th and 14th centuries. The
ancient city suffered terrible devastation in
the hands of invaders but its cultural glory remained
in the archeological treasures that are found
here. There many Hindu temples that draws people
to this place in large numbers.
Simraugadh is situated
in the Terai plains to the south of Kathmandu.
The most convenient access to this place, by air,
is from Birgunj (270 km away from Kathmandu).
Another route to Simraugadh is a Flight to Simara
(15 minutes) and then a drive to Birgunj (25 km)
from where it is 45 km to simraugadh.