There are many historical places in Nepal that show the history and culture surrounding that place. Learn more in this Essay on Changu Narayan Temple.
Essay on Changu Narayan Temple
Nepal is a country with many cultural and historical importance worldwide. There are 10 historical sites that have been enlisted as world heritage sites by UNESCO. Among them, 7 belong to Kathmandu Valley, which comprises 3 cities, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu. The heritages are- Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa, Changu Narayan Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
Nepal is a diverse county with many religions; among them, Hinduism is the most prevalent. As such, there are many Hindu temples in Nepal. Bhaktapur, also known as “The City of Temples” is home to Changu Narayan Temple, which is listed as a World Heritage site. Changu Narayan is said to be the oldest ancient Hindu temple still standing in Nepal, dating back to the fourth century. The temple is located at the hilltop named Changu in Bhaktapur.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and shows the history and culture of the Hindu people. It was built in the Lichhavi era, which shows the art and architecture and is also dubbed “The Oldest Temple of Nepal.” This temple is built in Pagoda style, maintaining the Traditional Nepali architecture. It was enlisted as a World Heritage Site in 1947, along with Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
According to the legend of the temple, a cow herder and a Brahman got angry when they saw a small boy drinking the milk of the cow when it was grazing. They thought that it was a devil and the forest named Changu was the home of the devil. So when they cut down the trees, they started bleeding. They started to cry as they thought they had committed a sin. Then Lord Vishnu emerged from the trees and told them that they had freed him of sin by beheading him. Then they built a temple in the name of Lord Vishnu.
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Another legend is that a famous warrior named Changu defeated another famous warrior named Pranjal. To commemorate him, they build a temple. Similarly, it is said that a Kashmiri king built a temple on top of the hill as a gift for his daughter, Champak, after marrying the prince of Bhaktapur. The name of the temple is said to be derived from her.
The temple is a two-storied pagoda temple made with exquisite craftsmanship featuring intricate wood and stone carvings, metalwork, and brass and copper roofs. The temple has 4 doors each facing their own direction guarded by a pair of beasts. The temple has been carved with intricate carvings that have immense archeological, historical, and cultural significance. It is built on top of a hill surrounded by a forest of Champak trees. People from the Newar, Brahman, Chettri, and more communities live around the premises of Changu Narayan.
The Changu Narayan temple is not just a place of worship, but also a Museum of Nepali art and architecture. There are many other smaller shrines of other gods also found in the compound of the temple, including Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, and more. Each shrine has its own unique characteristics and importance. One of them being Garuda, a flying vehicle of Lord Vishnu, depicted in the Rs10 paper note. It is believed that by visiting the temple and praying to Lord Vishnu, one can have the blessing of Lord Vishnu and can lead a happy and prosperous life.
Changu Narayan Temple is a piece of magnificent art and architecture, as well as an important cultural and historical site in Nepal. It has been destroyed and rebuilt and has also been renovated many times, but it still holds cultural, artistic, and historical significance. The area of the Temple has been sullied by the pollution caused by people living there and should be addressed by the government. It is a very influential site and should be preserved with care for future generations as well as for the current people.
Hopefully, you’ve learned more through the essay on Changu Narayan Temple!
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