Changu Narayan Temple
It is located on a magnificent hill top commanding a fantastic view of Kathmandu valley, the Changu Narayan—the temple of Lord Vishnu—is 6 and wood. In fact it is one of the finest examples of Nepalese architecture. The first epigraphic evidence of Nepalese history found in the temple premises during the reign of the Lichchavi King Mandeva dating back to 464 AD shows that Changu had already been established as a sacred location in the 3rd century AD. The present structure was probably constructed in the 17th century, though older elements have been incorporated during the restorations. The pagoda style temple has several masterpieces of 5th and 12th century Nepalese art.
Some of the important sculptures here as:
1. Viswo Roop-
Lord Vishnu in his all pervasive universal form Vishnu Roop represented in a serpent bed- the- symbolic of the endless water. This sculpture dates back to 8th century AD.
2. Vishnu Vikranta-
Lord Vishnu in his most powerful form measuring the space by his feet. This stone bas-relief image is dated as 8th century AD.
3. Vishnu mounted in his vehicle Garuda- the mythical man bird.
4. Nr-singha Vishnu in his half human and half lion’s form.
The myth behind the conception of the Changu Narayan Temple signifies the religious significance and importance of the place. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu beheaded a Brahmin thinking it to be a demon and only discovered it later that he had committed a heinous crime. He then wandered on earth on his mount, the ‘Garuda’ eventually descending on the hill at Changu. There he lived in anonymity, surviving on milk stolen form a cow belonging to a hermit sage called Sudharshan. When Sudharshan found out about the stolen milk, he attacked and beheaded Lord Vishnu which freed Lord Vishnu from his sins. Ever since that day, the site has been held sacred and the temple has been revered.