Changu Narayan Temple, worshiped as ‘Narayan ‘ by Hindus and as ‘Harihar Bahan Lokeswar’ by Buddhists, is situated to the north of Bhaktapur, Nepal.
Presence of an ancient inscription within the temple from the Licchavi King Manadeva’s period (464 A.D) suggests its existence from the 5th century A.D. The current structure however dates back to the 17th century having undergone renovation from time to time.
On a visit to Bhaktapur, I decided to visit Changu Narayan Temple. Bhaktapur is itself an old city and Changu Narayan is about 5 kilometers away, situated on a hill amongst a settlement with homes made of sun dried bricks and sloping roofs, much away from the din and bustle of city life.
The road meandered up the hill and once up on the temple zone, one can have a beautiful bird eye view of Bhaktapur and Kathmandu far away.
From the parking zone steep stairs lead up to the temple. Both sides of this lead up are mainly handicraft shops. You can actually see the artists giving shape to beautiful ‘Thanka’ paintings or making a wooden mask.
To the right is a very small museum that houses a pictorial description about the ancient history of the temple, ancient daily used items, weapons, musical instruments, coins etc.
The temple itself is housed in the middle of a big court yard with statues of other god and goddesses within the courtyard. The main festival is ‘Rathyatra’ in Baisak and ‘Narayan Puja’ in Kartick Sukla Ekadasi.