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Hiking from Changu Narayan to Bhaktapur

BinayaA, NischalS, ShameshJ, RupaA, RajendraS, SujanG, ShaileeG, SitaP, ManishS, TejsweeS, AnishV, ShankarU, ManindraJ, and 4 other friends of BinayaA

Place: Changu Narayan, Bhaktapur
Date: 25th August 2007
Report: Shamesh Joshi
Creative Support: NishchalS

The journey to the Changu, the path of Mokshya, a skip from a monotonous rush hour. It was Saturday morning, 25th of august, 2007, a team of 17 enthusiastic novice trying of feel the past, our ancestors and their presence, started the journey of the Great Changu Narayan temple situated on the beautiful peaceful location of 1541 meter height, 24 Km from Kathmandu. It was no time we reached the lap of nature, warmth of culture, our Changu. The air was fresh; the climate was pleasant, greenery around us and a feeling of freedom. We team landed on the base of Changu, the world heritage site, early in the morning.

With our gear packed, we climb our steps toward the marvelous court yard of Changu Narayan Temple. The path was full of creative hands and busy faces. Old as well as young were enjoying the moment. Life full of struggle but no sign of disappointments. We were amazed to feel the strength beneath those calm faces. So near to the city, yet living their own world.

The Changu area seems to live the legend. Yhe, a legend since 4th Century when King Hari Dutta Verma (according to The Gopal Raj Vamsavali, the oldest chronicle of country) built the Changu Narayan temple along with three other temples at the four cardinal directions of the Kathmandu valley, dedicated to the Hindu God Narayan. The other Vaisnavait temples, he had built were the temples of SESA NARAYANA, BISHANKHU NARAYANA and ICHANGU NARAYANA respectively.

It has many old outstanding stone, wood, and metal carvings dating from the Lichhavai period. On the intricately carved painted roof struts of the temple are intricate carvings of the ten incarnations of Vishnu and goddesses.

King Mana Dev added a commemorative, a huge stone pillar on the north-western corner of the Changu Narayana temple, intending to immortalize the great victories made by him during his life time, in 464 AD.

A life size 5th century statue of Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu kneels with his hands folded before the temple. Besides Garuda is one of the oldest Licchavi stone inscriptions. In front of the temple here is a statue of kneeling King Bhupatindra Malla and his queen.

There is a sixth century stone statue of Vishnu Viswarup, the universal form of Lord Vishnu that Lord Krishna showed Arjuna while speaking the Bhagavad Gita.
On the Lakshmi Narayan Temple there is an 8th century statue of six-armed Trivikratha (Lord Vamana), and next to it is a statue of Lord Narasimha, the man-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Behind the last two statues is a little black slab that has an image of Narayan lying on the traditional serpent Ananta and above it Lord Vishnu with 10 arms and heads. In the northwest corner of the courtyard is a sculpture of Lord Vishnu riding on Garuda, which is on the Rs 10 Nepali banknote. Above the main door is Lord Vishnu holding his four symbols.

The beautifully gilded door is guarded by stone lions of it and has intricate gilded windows on either side. On four pillars in the four corners are the symbols representing Lord Vishnu: the chakra (disc) and conch shell, the lotus (padma), and club (gada).
It is said that, During the Mila Punhi festival, held on the full moon day of the month of Magh (Jan/Feb), the silver kalash of the Deity is carried in procession. To be greeted by the Goddess Kumari at the Taleju Temple, in Kathmandu.

Our hunger was increasing seconds by seconds; we were running like insane, every peace of art was better than the next. Oh, an open museum. It was like spirit of our ancestor.

Though the place was incredible, the place need much attention, It needs to be preserved, protected, for us, for our children to tell the tales of our parents. The palace surrounding the temple seemed neglected, the Big bell calling for eternal peace has cracks on it, our ancestor praying lacks head, oh, it needs to feel safe and it’s our duty to make them feel safe.

I would like to appreciate a private museum owner who had tried to preserve our history, the way of living, our past. I was amazed to find coin collections since the very first Manaxya, a leather coin of King Mana Dev to the 5000 Rs Coin of King Birendra. The museum also had various other collections of ancient house hold equipments, generally used tools, and many more.

Its time to return home, it was a memorable morning, and feel like we enjoyed every bit of it. I promise to return Changu once again with same enthusiasm, same passion and with extra inner energy.

01 gate of changunarayan

02 Stone Tap

03 Stairs to Changu Narayan Temple

04 Front View of Changu

05 From right side

06 Busy

07 North West View

08 Are those for child

09 Carved doors guarded by Sadhe (Bulls)

10 West face of temple

11 Tepa (water collection)

12 Another Drying Maize

13 Art of Anscestors

14 Big Bell (shows lack of maintenance)


16 Colors of Changu

17 Durga Temple

18 Garud

19 Creaive Hands 2

20 Creative Hands

21 Hatti, Guarding Elephant

22 Head has been stolen

23 Renovated Carved Window

24 Pala

25 One of the oldest house of Changu

26 Narayan

27 Sankha

28 Shila Lekh

29 Stone Ctaft with Narayan and Naags

30 Thru’ the window of Palace

31 Time Pass

32 Wheel of Time

33 Wind Bells

34 Dark, abandon part of palace

35 Crew members

36 local house

37 Makkai Batmas(gold)

38 Narayan

39 Piece of Art

40 Saraswatimata Yumahangma English Secondary School

41 Changu Museum

42 Alla Thala (Alcohol pot)

43 Coins of Mandev

44 Coins of Yognarendra

45 First Nepali Coin, Manaxya

46 Taan, weaving machine

47 Generations

48 Children learning for cultural song

49 Local women

50 Tamra Patra (old inscript written in Tama-Copper)

51 tells the story of ages

52 Changu Basti

53 Changu Villege

54 Flow Chart to get permission to build new house.

55 Instruments of Nepal

56 Local children

57 Free Fly

58.Self shot

59 Bhala, used during wars

60 Century Old Amazing Abstract Art- Lion that can Fly with Beak and Two Horn over the Head

61 Century Old Statue

62 Crafted Beam (clouds)

63 Damaru

64 Fishing Equipments

65 Hatiyars, Iron swords

66 House Utilities

67 Incomplete Statue

68 Leather Money Bag

68 Protective shield made by Rhino skin(Bullet proof)

69 Struts of Bhramha and Vishnu

70 Thanka

71 Tikkai Jhyal (Crafted Window)

72 Used to make Alcohol

73 Wooden water drainage, where washed plates are kept. Century old method.

74 Wooden rod to produce bitten rice (Cheura)