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Ganesh Temples of Kathmandu

Abhishek Subedi June 5, 2020

Kathmandu is a city full of traditions and cultures. It is the home of the many monuments, temples, monasteries and stupas.  The city itself is the beauty of the art surrounded by hills and beautiful landscapes, the city has a beautiful and amazing history. Many historical temples and palaces are built here. The valley was ruled by the many kings and queens . It is the place where brave soldiers sacrifice their lives to end the ruthless Rana regime. The home of the 130 important monuments including several pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists. The seven UNESCO world heritage sites are also within the valley. Many important temples of the deities are situated at the different parts of the valley.

Major Ganesh Temples of Kathmandu Valley

There are mainly four important Ganesh temples in the country. The three of them are in Kathmandu whereas one is located in the Bhaktapur District of the country. Ganesh is known as the god of Wisdom. Each Ganesh temple of the valley has its own traditional and religious value.  Ganesh is also known as the Ganapati and Vinayak and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. Devotion to Ganesh is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Although he is known by many attributes, the elephant head of Ganesh makes him easy to identify. As the god of beginning, he is honoured at the start of the rites and ceremonies.

  1. Kamaladi Ganesh Temple

Kamaladi Ganesh Temple is one of the famous Ganesh temples of the country. Many pilgrims from all round the country visit this temple every year. The main deity of the temple is known as the white Ganesh. It is the most popular Ganesh Temple in the Kathmandu valley. The people believed that the main deity of the temple was found in the paddy fields. It was discovered that the idol was one of the Pitha Ganeshas of the Kathmandu Valley.

Ganesh Temples of Kathmandu

The  temple lies at the same exact position where the white rock shaped like Lord Ganesh was found. The temple today is a richly ornamented structure that has undergone many renovations over the years. It is believed that King Prithvi Bir Bikram prayed here to bestow him with the son. After a year King Tribhuvan was born, so the tradition of worshipping at the temple to be blessed with the children began after that. The temple is mostly crowded during the Tuesday to the point that the entire area wears a festive atmosphere.

  1. Ashok Binayak Temple

Ashok Binayak is a Hindu temple located in the Kathmandu district at eastern side of the Kathmandu Durbar Square in Maru Tole. The deity here is known as the god of luck by the Hindus. It hosts one of the four original Ganesh shrines of Kathmandu valley. This temple has both Hindu and Buddhists devotees. The temple is a single storied structure. It does not have the pinnacle on the top, that’s why this temple is also known as the Maru Ganesh. The Maru is the newari language meaning the ”does not have”.

Ganesh Temples of Kathmandu

The entire exterior of the temple is plated in gold and is surrounded by the bars. Those who passed around this area always take one single round around the temple. The main deity of the temple is decorated with a metallic cover made up of silver and other metals during special occasions like Tuesdays, Dashain and Indra Jatra.  Right across the narrow road of the temple, devotees can find the mouse which is known to be the loyal bahan or ride of the Lord Ganesh.  The temple is decorated with light pans and the bells. 

  1. Jal Binayak Temple

Jal Binayak temple is one of the most important shrines of the Kathmandu valley. It is located in the Chobar on the bank of the Bagmati river. The temple was built by the Malla King Shiva Singh Malla in the year 1602 AD. It is a three tiered roof temple built in the pagoda style. The temple has the carvings of the eight Bhairavs and eight Ashta Matrikas inside its premises. It is believed that a rat is the vehicle of Lord Ganesh, so you can find a rat in the courtyard of the temple facing the shrine of the Ganesh. Jal Binayak is also known as the protector to holy rain giving Nags residing in TauDaha Lake.

Ganesh Temples of Kathmandu

This form of Ganesh is believed to remove the obstacles from the devotee’s life. Thousands of devotees visit this temple to take blessings and remove their obstacles of life with the blessing of Lord Ganesh. The temple was greatly damaged by the earthquake of the 2015 AD, so the repairing and reconstruction work of the temple is in the process. The visitors can visit this beautiful, spiritual and religious Ganesh Temple to take the blessing from the god and get rid of the obstacles from their life. The temple is mostly crowded during Tuesdays and Vijaya Dashami.

  1. Karya Binayak Temple

Karya Binayak temple is widely revered as the protector deity of Khokana town and some say of Bungmati as well.  The word Karya Binayak means Karya translates to work and Binayak Means Ganesh. So before starting any work or business and new endeavour, the devotees often worship Karya Binayak first.  This temple has a very rich history linked with the most prestigious god Rato Machindranath.

Ganesh Temples of Kathmandu

According to the myths and legend, when a 12 year long drought ravaged Kathmandu valley and killed thousands of people. The Kings of all three cities collaboratively found the solution. The guru of Gorakhnath, Machindranath  was brought to the valley to make Gorakhnath release all nine holy Serpents. These holy serpents had the divine task to bring rain to the valley. The nine serpents were trapped under meditating Gorakhnath who used the serpents as the cushion. As mentioned in the genealogical records of the Gopals, ruling ethnicity of the era, Karya Binayak was established so as to have all good luck for a successful completion of Rato Machindranath temple which was about to begin.

Every year in Mangsir Purnima (full moon night in the month of Mangsir in Nepali Calendar), a ceremony is held that requires worshipping both Rato Machindranath and Karya Binayak at very same auspicious date and time; the liturgy can be witnessed in Bungmati. Karya Binayak is brought to Rato Machindranath and revolves three times around the temple and then the Binayak is taken to the Priest’s home. This indicates the end of the Rato Machindranath Jatra. The temple is mostly packed with devotees on Tuesday and Saturday.  The temple is the small one storied with the pinnacle on top. There are bells on the facades of the temple and two metal flags on each side of the door. The rodent loyal vehicle of the Ganesh is on the front of the temple in the courtyard. 

Kathmandu valley has many religious and cultural sites with great importance and stories. Every temple of the Kathmandu valley has some mythical stories and legends and are linked with the modern and past Kathmandu.

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