• Last Updated on May 6, 2022

Changu Narayan Temple: A masterpiece of Nepali Architecture

Located in the town of Changu in Bhaktapur, the Changu Narayan temple is a revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of creation. Its history dates back nearly 3000 years, as it was constructed in the 4th century by King Mandev of the Lichhavi dynasty. As one of the oldest temples in the region, it holds great cultural and historical significance.

Located in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, the Changu Narayan Temple is a significant religious and historical site. Built in the pagoda style with two stories, the temple is adorned with intricate carvings and guarded by lion sculptures at its four entrances. Its rich cultural and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

Changu Narayan temple is a stunning example of the region's skilled craftsmanship in stone, wood, and metalwork. The temple boasts a variety of intricate carvings and artwork, showcasing the cultural heritage of the area. Visitors to Changu Narayan can witness the rich history and artistic traditions of the Kathmandu Valley.

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History of Changu Narayan Temple

Changu Narayan Temple, located in the Kathmandu Valley, has a rich history dating back to the fourth century during the Lichhavi Dynasty. After a devastating fire, the temple was rebuilt in 1702 AD and still stands today as the oldest Vishnu shrine in the valley. The hillside location, just 4 kilometers north of Bhaktapur, adds to the temple's serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Despite being destroyed by fire, the temple was rebuilt in 1702 and still stands today as one of Nepal's most beautiful and historically significant temples. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings of the tenth incarnations of Vishnu and various multi-armed Tantric goddesses that adorn the two-story temple.

The Changu Narayan Temple is a true gem in the history of Nepal, dating back to the Lichhavi dynasty from the fourth to ninth centuries. The temple is adorned with intricate carvings made from stone, wood, and metal, which can be found throughout the temple's courtyard and main sanctuary.

The Chagunarayan Temple

Aside from the primary sanctuary, there are different holy places devoted to Shiva, Chinnamasta (Kali), Ganesh, and Krishna found in the yard. A journey to the sanctuary of Chinnamasta, viewed as the mother goddess adored at the site on ancient occasions, is held here every year in the Nepali month of Baisakh (April-May).

Interesting Facts about Changu Narayan Temple

Old as old itself, the Changu Narayan Temple has a history that dates back to around 3000 years. Perched on a hill, the temple stands majestically over the rice fields of Bhaktapur around 22 km away from Kathmandu.

The Changu Narayan Temple is one of seven structures cited by UNESCO as demonstrating the historic and artistic achievements that make the Kathmandu Valley a World Heritage Site.

This temple is said to be the oldest Hindu temple still in use in the Kathmandu Valley. Built-in the two-tiered pagoda style, the main shrine here is guarded on all sides by pairs of real and mythical beasts – elephants, lions, winged lions, and ram-horned griffons. Its roof struts feature some amazingly intricate carvings of Tantric deities. Changu Narayan and its associated buildings were badly affected by the 2015 earthquake. However, restoration of the complex is underway.

Things to See in Changu Narayan Temple

The Changu Narayan temple is a twofold roofed sanctuary committed to Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan. The sanctuary is enlivened with ten incarnations of the Narayan. Stone lions monitor all the four entryways of the sanctuary.

Small Museum near Chagunarayan Temple

Garuda, a half-man and half-flying creature is the vehicle of the Vishnu. A real existence measure stone statue of Garuda bows before the west essence of the sanctuary. There is an engraving stone behind the statue. The engraving gives vital data on the Lichhavi administration and the historical backdrop of Kathmandu valley. Before the sanctuary's principal entrance, in a lavish pen, there are little statues of King Bhupatindra Malla and his ruler.

Toward the north of the sanctuary is the statue of Vishnu situated on a Garuda. The model goes back to the ninth century and is one more fascination in the territory.

The sanctuary's true gems are a lot of models dotted around the yard. The statue of Vishnu in a half-man and a half lion incarnation called Narsingha is something not to be missed. It goes back to 464 AD. Another statue indicates Vishnu as Vikranth/Vamana, the six-outfitted smaller person who later changed into a giant. To the side of these pictures is a little dark chunk demonstrating a 10-headed and 10-equipped Vishnu. The delightfully cut picture is around 1500 years of age.

Things to Remember While Traveling in Changu Narayan Temple

Despite age and nationality, everybody needs to pay entrance fees to enter the premises of Changu Narayan Temple.

Even though Changu Narayan has a bunch of statues and models, Changu Narayan is additionally well known for its delightful specialties in wood, stone, and metal. Everything in and around the sanctuary is a certifiable show-stopper. So, ensure you have examined every single corner of Changu Narayan.


A visit to Chagunarayan Temple is included in Chisapani-Nagarkot Trek and Nagarkot Sunrise Hike, furthermore, we can make half day tour of Chagunarayan temple or can combine it with Bhaktapur Durbar Square as well. Let us know if you want to visit the temple.

Arjun Rijal

Arjun Rijal

Hello, Hi & Namaste from the Himalayas !!!

I am Arjun Rijal, Founder Director of the Outfitter Himalaya Holidays P. Ltd & working as a travel planner/consultant for Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet Travel. I love hiking, trekking, and traveling.

I have been in most of the trekking regions in Nepal, that include Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base camp, Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu, and Langtang. I also have travelled to Bhutan, India & planning further travel to many other countries in the world.

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