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Budhanilkantha Temple lies on the northern side of Kathmandu valley, just below the Shivapuri hill. The temple is associated with the Hindu god, Bishnu. A Bishnu statue of about 3m height in a sleeping position is the main attraction for people. The statue is wholly made out of stone and depicts the god, Bishnu with his four arms sleeping on the serpent-couch.
The origin of the temple is yet unknown and unclear. But a famous myth tells that the present day temple was actually a field owned by a old guy named Nilkantha. While plouging the field, the second finger of the right feet of the statue was cut and blood started seeping out. After digging deep, the statue was excavated. The name Budhanilkantha was kept in accordance to the guy who found the statue.
The temple houses a gurukul where the students are taught Sanskrit. The daily aarati of the statue that takes place two times a day, in the morning and evening is done by the young student of the gurukul. It seems that the grown up people (even if you are a pujari) are not allowed within the premises of the statue. The temple forbids the usage of the conch shell. Another interesting fact is that the King of Nepal would never step a foot inside the temple because if he did, there is a belief that something bad would happen to the King. The belief is based on the saying that “there cannot be two King on one mountain top.” Various rituals are performed by the priests of the temple on the request of the people. The temple is crowded on major Hindu festivals. Even though the temple is mainly associated with Bishnu, small temples of various other Hindu gods like Ganesh, Laxmi, Krishna, Shiva, and Naga are all around the area.
The present day Budhanilkantha is a good place to rest. The structures around the temples had been renovated about a year or so before. The outer wall on the eastern side has been taken out, creating more space for the temples. Some of the area has been paved with marble, making the area look neat and clean. At times when I go there, I like to just sit on the iron bench under the peepal tree and try and be fully there.
~ Dhirendra Budha Chhetri