Situated on a small hill –ten km to the east of kathmandu and eight km north from Dudhpati of Bhaktapur,lies the temple of Changu Narayan. Decorated with magnificient art works in metal and wood, the temple was enlisted in the World Heritage Site in 1979A.D.
Its origin goes back to 4th c. licchavi period and thus holds many stone images and sculptures from that era. The temple was built by King Hari Datta Verma in 323A.D. and was reconstructed to the present form on 1702 A.D. after huge fire engulfed the temple and large part of the exterior got devastated.
Changu Narayan is one of the 4 Narayans which is believe to safeguard Kathmandu valley against any calamities and is situated at 1541m of height.
Garuda-the vehicle of Lord Vishnu is placed at the front of the temple on kneeling position and folded hands and facing the temple. This garuda dates back to 5th c. Stone lions guard the golden door of the temple flanked by gilded windows. There also lies two pillars at the front corners which carry the conch shell and disc(chakra)- weapons of Narayan.
Statues of King Bhupalendra Malla and his queen, kneeling in a golden cage in front of the temple is equally mesmerizing. The courtyard of the temple is paved with triangular bricks. It’s believed the temple possess the half grain of rice which dates back to Satya Yug (known as Age of Truth in english, Satya Yug is the first of the four ages SATYA, DWAPAR, TRETA and KALI).
It takes about half an hour ride from Dudhpati and costs NRs20 per person to reach to Changu Narayan. The ancient stone steps lead to the top of the hill. A large square courtyard was added on early 18th c. An image of Narayan(lord Vishnu) resides inside the double roofed temple, intricate roof struts depicting multi-armed goddesses. Just below the goddesses lie erotic scenes in tiny form, so tiny that the eye strains when trying to have a look at it.
To conclude, Changu Narayan is a must visit place for visitors who visit with religious intention or to those who just want to visit places for the sake of fun.