Budhanilkantha Temple, Kathmandu | The Travelling Slacker

A lot of the main points of interest in Kathmandu are fairly well-known and are situated inside a radius of 5 KMs round Thamel (the place most vacationers keep). If there was one place that I got here accross and that regarded a bit far off, that was the Budhanilkantha Temple, a serious temple devoted to Lord Vishnu.

IMG 20230616 083417 01
Entry gate on the detour from the freeway

So, it was my final day in Nepal and I had a bus overseas within the afternoon. I made a decision to utilise the morning by waking up early and catching one of many bikes for rent (what they these days name Pathao, an Uber like app that’s prevalent right here). Buses are additionally out there however I wasn’t keen to spend a lot time commuting and in addition had some further Nepali rupees left to splurge earlier than crossing the borders. So, I employed one of many bowlers from Thamel to take me there for NPR 300.

It didn’t take a lot time because the bike raced to Budhanilkantha quickly and he left me in entrance of a smaller highway bifurcating from the freeway. There was a gate with the identify of the temple and ten route was going someplace upwards. I believed I’ll must hike like Swayambhunath however it took solely round 100 meters earlier than I reached the principle temple entrance on the left aspect of the highway.

IMG 20230616 083034 01
Small statue at entrance
IMG 20230616 083034 02
Nearer have a look at the identical

There are some small however intriguing statues put in on the entrance (extra about it later). I walked previous them to succeed in the principle compound. The principle sleeping Vishnu statue right here is situated in a small pond. It has been protected with partitions on all sides whereas devotees had lined up there from the morning to have a more in-depth look and carry out their rituals by getting nearer to the statue by a small entrance. Additionally it is attainable to take a look on the idol from above the partitions with out getting inside, which is what I did contemplating the lengthy queue and the restricted time I had at hand.

IMG 20230616 082849 02
The Vishnu statue floats on water as per legends

At this level, I’ve to debate a couple of points that confused me. There isn’t a doubt that this temple is primarily devoted to Vishnu. The sleeping or reclining Vishnu on the celestial Seshanaga aur Ananatanaga is a well-liked motif in Hindu iconography. There are locations in India the place you possibly can see comparable statues. My most vivid reminiscence of the identical is from Udayagiri Caves of Vidisha.

Nonetheless, the identify of the place is Budhanilakantha which accurately means Outdated Blue Throat. Nonetheless, when it come to theology, nothing must be taken actually. Blue Throat (Nilakantha) refers to Lord Shiva as a result of he consumed the poison arrived from Samudra Manthan. So, why a Vishnu temple is known as after Shiva. On the identical time, this place can also be revered by Buddhists, because it occurs in lots of Himalayan shrines. So, is the phrase Buddha moderately than Budha (outdated)? I assume because it occurs with most historical temples, we’ll by no means know the precise reply.

Anyway, I took a spherical of the compound and shortly discovered that getting nearer to the idol gained’t be attainable and even when I get shut, pictures in all probability gained’t be allowed at shut vary. So, I simply took some pictures from exterior the barricade.

IMG 20230616 082849 03
A more in-depth have a look at the Budhanilkantha Vishnu idol

Coming to the idol, it seems not solely remarkably well-crafted as anticipated but additionally remarkably well-preserved, which wasn’t anticipated contidering its antiquity. The face of Vishnu and the serpents beneath him appeared to have intricate particulars (no less than from the place I used to be standing). As regular, Vishnu holds Shankha, Chakra, Gada, Padma (Conch Shell, Sudarshan Chakra, Mace, Lotus) in his 4 arms. The idol seems like floating within the water though it’s nonetheless, so, there have to be some help beneath. An in depth research if the identical has by no means been attainable as because of spiritual significance, researchers often don’t get shut entry to the idol.

IMG 20230616 082937 01
One other angle

Aa far as antiquity is worried, there are a number of variations. One model attributes it to the Licchavi rulers from the primary millennium. The second attributes it to medieval rulers round 14th century. The statues seems fairly effectively maintained to be extraordinarily historical however you possibly can by no means know.

This was roughly it for Budhanilakantha. It was a hurried journey and in addition the entry is proscribed to this small temple. However it’s positively price a go to as a result of let me inform you even in India there are only a few locations the place you’ll be capable of find an intact, reclining Vishnu statue.

Budhanilkantha Journey Information

attain Budhanilkantha?

It’s round 9 KMs from Thamel and 10 KMs from the airport. I took a type of two wheelers for rent and paid him NPR 300 as I used to be in a rush. However it may be cheaper in case you are in a temper to discount. Whereas returning, I acquired one other bike who quoted NPR 200. It took not more than 20 minutes to succeed in.

I’ve seen buses going in the direction of it though I by no means took them. Apparently you may get one from Lainachur bus stand close to Thamel. It’ll be far cheaper however will take extra time.

Festivals at Budhanilkantha

The foremost festiva right here is Haribondhini Ekadashi in the course of the eleventh day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October – November). The occasion marks the top of the four-month interval of Chaturmas, throughout which Vishnu is believed to sleep.

How a lot time does it take to discover Budhanilkantha?

If you’re mere going to take a spherical of the compound then it’ll take 10-Quarter-hour. If you wish to attain the statue and do some rituals, it’ll take a couple of hours as there may be often a giant queue of devotees.