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Changu Narayan Temple

Changu Narayan Temple

Changu Narayan Temple is one of the most popular Narayan temples in Kathmandu Valley at mythical Champak Hill, Changu, Dolagiri (1541 m), 6 km north of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The Gopal Chronicle mentions that Lichchavi King Haridatta Burma built the Narayan temple in 323 AD. The two-tiered pagoda-style famous Hindu temple is a large square courtyard surrounded by Chaughera Sattal (rest house). It enlisted UNESCO world heritage site in 1979 AD. Locals celebrate daily Puja, Aarati and Haribodhini festivals. 

The temple has 40 beautiful roof struts with 45-degree angle wood carvings. The temple entrance has decorated with the golden figure of Vishnu, a lotus flower, a conch, a disc and a mace. Nepal's old stone inscription with Pro-Lichchavi script (464 AD) had erected on Mandev Pillar. It mentions Prince Bhupatindra persuaded his mother, Rajyavati, ought not to join Sati (ritual suicide) with his father, Dharmadev and other narratives. 

Changu Narayan Temple was built in the Shikhara style after renovation changed to the pagoda style. Juddha Shumsher Rana renovated it after the 1934 earthquake. It has recently retrofitted after the 2015 earthquake. Chinnamasta (Headless Goddess Kali) Temple has a bronze art (17th century) nearby a Stone Elephant and Ganesh temple in the southeast. The wood carving struts, gold-plated door, Pati, Manadeva Pillar, festival chariot, and stone sculptures are exquisite. They are Vishwaroop (7th century), Vishnu Vikrant (7th century), Narasimha Avatar (7th century), Kileshwor Mahadev temple, Garuda (5th century), Garuda Narayan (7th century), Sridhar Vishnu (9th century), Vaikuntha-Vishnu (16th century), King Bhupalendra, Queen Bhuvan Laxmi Malla's statue (17th century), Bhimsen Pati (17th century) with Changu Museum (2000). 

The hill has enchanting views of snow-clad peaks, green hills and Kathmandu Valley. Local buses and private cars reach Changu village bus park. Afterwards, walk 5 minutes to the oldest Narayan temple in Kathmandu Valley. There is a restaurant, painting, souvenir shop, museum, public toilet and ticket counter. The temple entry fee is 350 for foreigners and 250 for SAARC nationals. 

Changu Narayan Temple has a story that Lord Vishnu beheaded a Brahmin mistakenly thought a demon. Later he committed a heinous crime, been a world tour on Garuda, and finally descended the hill. God Vishnu had lived there anonymously, surviving on milk stolen from a cow belonging to sage Sudharshan. When Sudharshan noticed stolen milk, he attacked and beheaded Lord Vishnu, which freed Vishnu from his sin. Afterwards, it has become a holy place.