has 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.
The Balmaki Ashram is situated in the
forest on the banks of the Terbeni river, at the southwestern
corner of the Royal Chitwan National park. It was a
retreat used by the great Hindu sage, Balmaki. This
is where Sita is sad to have live with her two sons,
Labha and Kusha, after separation 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 Kaka 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 sald to have a said
to have killed demon Hiranakshaya. Apart from the main
shrine dedicated to Varaha, there are many other temple
with images of the Varaha is Varahakshetra. Every year
on the first of Magh (November), a religious fare takes
Devghat is situated 6 km to the north
of Narayanghat, the gateway to the Royal Chitwan National
Park. On the day of the Makar Sakranti festival in January
pilgrims come here to take holy dips in the Narayani,
formed by the meeting of the kali Gandaki and Trisuli.
There is a settlement of a community of elderly, retired
people here. Davghat can be reached by taking a daily
flight or bus services.
Dhanushadham, a historical and religious
site, dates back to the time of the great epic- Ramayana.
It is located 18 km northeast 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 day Dhanushadham.
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 waterspouts. The Jwala
Mai temple nearby has a spring and an eternal flame
fed by natural gas.
Muktinath is set in the north central part of Nepal.
It is a six- hour walks 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, thee are
other temples dedicated to Devendra and Ganesh too.
A lake is believed to have been created
by Lord Shiva when he thrust his Trisula (trident) into
a mountain to extract water so that he could cool his
stinging throat 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 4380 m t. to the north of Kathmandu on the Lang tang
trekking trail. The holy lake is a two daylong trek
from Dhunche, which can be reached through an adventurous
118 km mountain road from Kathmandu via Trisuli 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 belived
to have the power to fulfill wishes. It lies 125 km
to the west of kathmandu. It is a steep three- hour
hile 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. They’re many Hindu temples
that draw people to this place in large numbers.
Simraunghadh 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 simraughad.
Most of the festivals celebrated in Nepal are religious.
However, they can be generally divided into four sections
keeping in mind the main aspects of the festival emphasized.