While one can visit Nepal and see the intermingling of Buddhism and Hinduism amongst its people, Nepali people are over 80% Hindu. On our Ancient Hinduism Tour, we take you to some of the most famous and important Hindu sites around the Kathmandu valley including Budanilakantha, Dakshinkali Temple, and Pashupatinath. This day tour provides history on the development of Nepal according to its Hindu roots, and how worshippers continue to practice at these sites today.
The Budhanilkantha statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, located approximately 10 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu at the base of the Shivapuri Hill, is the largest stone carving in all of Nepal. Called the Sleeping Vishnu, or Jalakshayan Narayan, the statue depicts the deity reclining on the twisting coils of the cosmic serpent Shesha (Shesha is the eternal, multi-headed king of the serpent deities known as Nagas, and also is the servant of Vishnu). The devotional practice of other Hindus is to approach Vishnu's feet and touching them, making prayers and giving thanks to the God.
Dakshin Kali Temple, located 22 kilometers outside Kathmandu and about 1 kilometer outside the village of Pharping, is one of the main temples of Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali. Animal sacrifices are the main way that the goddess is worshipped, and this is especially seen during the Dashain festival in late September. Dakshinkali Temple is one of the most famous and popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Goddess Kali, The Black One. Scowling and emaciated, with protruding tongue, red eyes, wearing a necklace of skulls. There is a strong belief from Hindus in the ability of goddess to make wishes come true.
Pashupatinath Temple, Pashupatinath Temple is Nepal's most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the greatest Shiva sites. It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River and serves as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. This important Hindu place has a collection of temples, ashrams, images, and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. It is included as one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO's designation of Kathmandu Valley as a cultural heritage site. The existence of Pashupatinath dates back to 400 A.D. with many legends describing as to how the temple of Lord Pashupatinath came to existence here. Sadhus(Hindu holy men) roam the temple, and the riverbanks of the Bagmati river are a popular place for cremations. In the evening, we will enjoy the Aarti and Pooja service, which consists of a small flame which burns on a wick, placed on a plate, which is rotated round the Deity. Flowers, fruit, leaves, rice, sweetmeats, and water to the deities in homes or temples. The ritual of the Aarti makes the light of the flame dispel darkness, the incense that is burnt gives out fragrance, a bell is rung, hands are clapped while one sings the Aarti. For more details email to Rugged Trails Nepal tour expert.