Nepal is a country of high culture and historical sites. You are likely to come across many of the famous temples in Nepal when you are visiting this country. However, you may want a more detailed description of the best temples in Nepal to help you through your ventures. These famous temples are rich in Nepali tradition and cultural heritage. Here at Source Nepal, we provide you with a list of some of the most glorious and famous temples in Nepal.
The temples of Nepal are statuesque and have incredible insights and richness. Newari pagoda temples and Shikhara temples are the unique features present in the temples found in Nepal. Similarly, there are Buddhist Gompas built with exclusive arts and crafts that reflect the ancient Nepali culture and tradition. We have provided you with detailed descriptions of the best temples of the Hindu and Buddhist religions in Nepal to help in better navigation of these sites.
Hindu Temples in Nepal
The majority of people in Nepal worship Hindu gods and goddesses. There is widespread faith in ancient gods and rituals in the Nepalese society. There are several Hindu temples with rich historical backgrounds in Nepal. These famous temples date back centuries and have a high value in the Hindu religion.
The Oldest Temple In Nepal (Changu Narayan Temple)
Change Narayan is the oldest temple in Nepal which was built in the 4th century in 1702 during the Lichhavi Dynasty. It is a double-roofed temple decorated with the ten incarnations of Narayan, and there are stone lions that guard all four doors of the temple.
There is a statue of Vishnu seated on a Garuda, and the sculpture is the product of very ancient ages, which is one of the major attractions of this region. The temple’s real gem and the statue of Narsingha are worth watching in the Changu Narayan region.
You can take a bus from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur and from Bhaktapur, you can go to the Changu Narayan temple through the bus route. A taxi directly from the city of Kathmandu which costs around Rs. 800 can get you to the temple quickly. It will cost around Rs.250 to go to Changu Narayan from Bhaktapur in a taxi. There is a charge ranging from NPR 100 to 300. This area allows you to take photographs of the famous temple and world heritage. You can also get your pictures taken in this ancient temple of Nepal.
- Bhaktapur, Nepal
Lists Of 14 Famous Hindu Temples in Nepal
- Buddhanilkantha (Jal Narayan)
- Guheswori Shaktipith
- Patan Krishna Mandir
- Dakshinkali Temple
- Manakamana Temple
- Muktinath Temple
- Janaki Temple
- Maya Devi Temple
- Tal Barahi Temple
- Doleshwar Mahadev Temple
- Bajrayogini Temple
- Devghat Dham
- Haleshi Mahadev Temple
Information on All Temples in Nepal
The Pashupatinath temple dates back to the 5th century. The creation of this Hindu shrine marks the finding of Shiva lingam at the location which has excellent value in the Hindu community. The Malla kings renovated the temple later during their reign in Nepal. The Pashupatinath has been established as the most important religious site for millions of Lord Shiva devotees.
This pagoda-style temple stretches on both sides of the Bagmati River, and there are hundreds of Shiva lingams within the compound of the temple. There is Shiva lingam inside the main temple and the statue of Nandi facing the temple. The cremations of Hindus take place along the bank of the river. The major worships in this temple are during festivals like Mahashivaratri which attracts millions of Hindu devotees from around the globe, Teej, the sacred celebration of women in Nepal, various Ekadashis and, other auspicious occasions. The great Aratis and festivals are the unique attraction of this famous temple.
To get to the Pashupatinath temple, you can visit directly from the Tribhuwan International Airport, which is 5-10 minutes away. You can also take a taxi from Basantapur to catch a bus from Basantapur. If you are a tourist visiting this holy site, you have to pay a charge of approximately NPR 1000 to roam the premises of this famous temple in Nepal. However, non-Hindus aren’t generally allowed to enter the main temple itself. Tourists can enter the heritage site through the back premises. Having a tourist guide with you can make it easier to get more access to one of the best temples in Nepal.
- Gaushala, Kathmandu, Nepal
2. Buddhanilkantha (Jal Narayan)
The mysterious laying statue of the Hindu Lord Vishnu is located at the base of the Shivapuri Hill and is 10km away from the centre of Kathmandu. It is the largest and a handsome stone carving of Lord Vishnu of Nepal.
The black basalt stone is carved representing Lord Vishnu, which is 5 meters in length, and it lies back inside the tank of water, which is 13 meters in length. The statue of Vishnu has legs crossed, and the eleven heads of nagas are on the top of the head. If you intend to travel to Buddhanilkantha, which is a beautiful place in itself, this Hindu temple will be worth your time.
You can catch a bus or taxi from Ratnapark or Basantapur to Narayanthan to this temple. This can be a 40-45 minute ride.
- Budanilkantha, Narayanthan, Nepal.
3. Guheswori Shaktipith
Gujeswori Shaktipith lies in the east of Pashupatinath, which is around 1 km away. Hindu pilgrims visit the place to worship the shrines of gods and goddesses in this holy temple. Devotees recognize this temple as the Shaktipith, a symbol of power.
The story of Sati Devi and how her body parts fell at Guheswori after her death make it significant in the Hindu religion. The temple was constructed under the command of the then King Pratap Malla in the 17th century. This Hindu temple is one of the famous temples in Kathmandu.
You can get to this temple directly from the Pashupatinath area through the north of the temple. While it is not clear if this Shaktipith is available to tourists, there is a front door that you can use to enter the temple
- Gaurighat, Kathmandu, Nepal.
4. Patan Krishna Mandir
The Patan Krishna Mandi lies in the Patan Durbar Square area, which is one of the major attractions in Kathmandu Valley for its rich history and more luxurious architecture. This temple worships the Hindu deity, Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. King Siddhi Narasigh Malla built the temple in 1637. Legends have it that the temple was created because of a dream in which the Hindu gods stood precisely where the temple stands today. When you are exploring the Kathmandu valley, the Durbar Square is worth a visit and the Krishna Mandir makes it even more special. There is a grand celebration with a great crowd during Krishna Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna, in this famous temple of Nepal.
A bus or taxi from Ratnapark or Koteshwor or Lagankhel will quickly get you to the Patan Durbar Square. The entry fee to this Durbar square is about NPR 1000 for tourists which will get you to the temple. You can also hire a tourist guide on an hourly basis, which typically goes from NPR 1000 or upwards per hour.
- Patan, Lalitpur, Nepal.
5. Dakshinkali Temple
The Dakshinkali Temple is located 22 km away from Kathmandu and is one of the major temples dedicated to the Goddess Kali. The worship in this Hindu temple includes the sacrifice of animals like goats, hens, or sheep to the goddess Kali.
The temple was established during the reign of Manadev of the Lichchhavi dynasty. The area surrounding the temple has trees, rivers, small food stalls, and hotels all around it. We can see Chobar hill and Taudaha Lake on the way to Dakshinkali Temple, which are some of the famous places in Nepal. You could easily visit these places on the move or while getting back from the temple.
You can catch a bus from Ratnapark to get to Dakshinkali or get a taxi, which is about an hour ride from Kathmandu. Another fascinating adventure to this venue would be mountain biking, which is perfect considering the trails.
- Near Pharping, Kathmandu.
6. Manakamana Temple
The Manakamana temple stands on the top of a hill about 140 kilometres west of Kathmandu. It is the most famous sacred place that worships the goddess Bhagwati. There is a belief in the Hindu religion that the goddess Bhagwati fulfils the wishes of all worshipers.
In 1998, the cable car facility came into existence, which made the journey to Manakamana more accessible and comfortable. We can find a crowd of people in the cable car queue as soon as we enter the gates. On the way to the temple, you can see the panoramic view of the Trishuli River and the forest-covered hills, which are simply breathtaking.
When you are on your way to Pokhara, you can visit this fantastic cultural landmark atop a hill. You can take a bus from Ratnapark of Kalanki in Kathmandu for Pokhara which generally has Manakamana as a stop, or you can take a bus that takes you to Kurintar directly. You will have to rent a cable car once you get there which costs you about USD 11 for a one-way ticket and USD 20 for a two-way ticket. Prices might vary depending on your nationality.
- Kurintar, Gorkha, Nepal.
7. Muktinath Temple
The Mustang district of Nepal is one of the most magnificent places in Nepal. The Muktinath temple is located atop a hill in this beautiful location at an altitude of 3,710 m. This place of salvation is famous for both Hindus and Buddhists and is one of the oldest temples of God Vishnu.
There is a semi-circular wall with 108 stone faucets which are at the height of 7 feet, and many visitors take a bath under all these faucets. People who travel to Mustang usually visit the temple to gain blessings from the ancient Hindu God.
Muktinath temple is a famous location for hikers to Mustang. You can hike or catch a bus to this location. You can reach Muktinath by trekking for around 7/8 days through Pokhara & Kali-Gandaki Valley. Bus & Jeep are also available via Beni, Ghasa, Tato Pani, Tukuche, and Marfa starting from Pokhara to Jomsom. It takes about 10-11 hours. Another option is to take a 7-8-hour flight from Pokhara and hike up to Muktinath from there. Private helicopter tours are also available from Kathmandu and Pokhara.
- Mustang, Nepal.
8. Janaki Temple
Ram Janaki temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples which is 123 kilometers to the south-east of Kathmandu. It is a three-storied structure made up of stone and marble. The Janaki Temple has a total of 60 rooms decorated with colourful glass, paintings, and beautiful windows.
It carries the ancient history of Ram and Janaki, and hence it has been able to attract a large number of Hindu pilgrims from Nepal and India. The Janaki temple holds a high cultural value along with extraordinarily intricate and beautiful architecture which cannot go unnoticed.
The Janaki temple is accessible via road as well as air. You can fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and take a bus to the temple from there take a bus directly from Kathmandu.
- Janakpur, Nepal.
9. Maya Devi Temple
The birthplace of Lord Budhha, the apostle of peace, has a vast range of Buddhist and Hindu sites for you to visit. The Lumbini region in itself is a place of historical and cultural significance. The Maya Devi Temple is the heart of Lumbini. People of both Hindu and Buddhist religions worship this site as one of the four most important places for Buddhism. The Maya Devi Temple safeguards the ruins of the ancient palace where Lord Budhha was born. This temple has an even higher value since archeologists were able to mark the exact location of Siddhartha Gautam’s birth.
You can get to Lumbini by bus or by flight from Kathmandu, which will take you about 30 minutes on a plane and about 6 to 9 hours by bus. If you are a foreigner visiting Lumbini, you will have to pay NPR 500 to visit the temple and the Lumbini area. This price can vary according to the devices like still camera or video camera that you are carrying.
- Taulihawa, Lumbini, Nepal.
10. Tal Barahi Temple
Tal Barahi Temple has been able to grab the attention of many travellers while travelling to the beautiful city of Pokhara. It is a small 2-story temple made in pagoda holding great value for Hindu devotees. The temple sits on a small island in the heart of the Fewa Lake. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu mother goddess, Shakti, who is a symbol of all creation and power. This magnificent temple amidst the clear waters of Fewa Lake has been made attainable by booking boat rides available to the temple, as well as around the lake. The location of this famous temple is dramatic and extraordinary with views of the glorious Annapurna Range peeking at Pokhara. These are the major attractions of the temple, making it appealing to both tourists and devotees from around the world.
When in Pokhara, you can visit the Tal Barahi temple by renting a boat on Fewa Lake. You can choose to either get to the temple or roam around Fewa Lake, which determines the prices of the ride. You will also be charged for renting a life jacket which is made compulsory for all people.
- Fewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal.
11. Doleshwar Mahadev Temple
Doleshwar Mahadev temple, located in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal, is 20 km far from the centre of Kathmandu. It is a drive of approximately 45 minutes from the centre of Kathmandu. It is famous among Shiva devotees of Nepal, and people visit the temple to pray for the fulfilment of their wishes.
Visiting this temple of Lord Shiva is believed to wash off all your sins and bless you for a successful life. This temple of Lord Shiva has become an ornament to the cultural diversity and beauty of Bhaktapur.
Doleshwar Mahadev Temple, located in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal, is 20 km from the capital city. It is a drive from Kathmandu to Doleshwar about 30 minutes away.
- Doleswor Rd, Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur, Nepal.
12. Bajrayogini Temple
The Bajrayogini Temple located east of Kathmandu in the hills of Sankhu is one of the famous temples in Nepal which earns the position of being a tantric temple. This three-storied temple is a Hindu sanctuary near the banks of Sali Nadi, a holy river of Nepal. This temple worships one of the most ferocious tantric goddesses, the goddess Bajrayogini. This beautiful temple has a strong representation of both Hinduism and Buddhism. A Buddhist shrine, named Gum Bihar was built in this region during the Lichhavi period (300-879 AD) in Nepal. This temple holds great value for Hindu devotees. The way to the temple is surrounded by forests and other religious sites, making it an astonishing travel destination.
The Bajrayogini temple is an excellent location for a short hike in the countryside of Sankhu. You can get a bus from Ratnapark or Baudhha directly to Sankhu or Sali Nadi, the holy river.
- Sankhu, Kathmandu, Nepal.
13. Devghat Dham
Devghat Dham is one of the most sacred places in Nepal. This holy place is located in the tri-centre of the Tanahu Nawalparasi and Chitwan districts of Nepal. The Dham also marks the convergence of two rivers, Gandaki coming from Muktinath and Trisuli from Gosaikunda. It is a very famous location among followers of the Hindu religion. There is a belief that a holy dip in this place can wash off your sins. The Devghat Dham has several temples in its premises which have significant value in the Hindu religion. This region also has many Ashrams where worshippers and elderly people spend their days. It is said that the souls of people who die here rest peacefully forever.
Bus service is available from the Pokhara bus station in Narayangarh city, while private taxis and cars can be rented in town.
- Devghat, Chitwan, Nepal.
14. Haleshi Mahadev Temple
The Halesi Mahadev Temple belongs to the list of one of the oldest and holiest temples in Nepal. This temple is among one of the famous temples in Nepal located in the Khotang district of the eastern region of Nepal. This temple located inside a natural cave is also known as the Pashupatinath Temple of east Nepal. This location has three mysterious caves which are also known as the three eyes of Lord Shiva. This temple has been in existence for about 6000 years.
You can take a bus to get to the holy location of Haleshi Temple. The road from Dhulikhel, Nepalthok, and Khurkot to Ghurmi, Okhaldhunga, Jayaram, and Halesi is about 222 kilometres away from Kathmandu. It takes about 8-9 hours to get to Halesi Mahadev as we travel through the constricting road.
- Haleshi, Khotang, Nepal.
These are some of the most amazing and famous temples in Nepal. They have conquered the attention of tourists inside Nepal and all over the world. These cultural landmarks need conservation with the implementation of proper plans and policies. The tourism prospects in Nepal are rapidly increasing over the past few decades. Hence, we must protect and promote these historically significant temples in Nepal.
Finally, if you are planning to visit Nepal any time soon, the rich heritage sites and the famous temples of Nepal are great sites for the eyes. As we said before, you will have to visit to believe these breathtaking temples and architecture. We suggest you book your plane tickets today as it will be a sight of a lifetime.