Visit the stunning Newari town of Sankhu
The small town of Sankhu lies hidden in the Kathmandu Valley and once was a significant town located on the Tibetan trade route. Today, Sankhu, or Sankharapur, does not have a thriving economy and most inhabitants work on farms or in the trading industry. Even though it does not have the hustle and bright lights of the cities, Sankhu is a favourite tourist destination in Nepal, due to its history and many spectacular sights and attractions.
It is believed that Shankharapur was established in 1801, although many have argued that its founding date was in 1299. But no matter which date is completely accurate, it still remains the oldest and most historic location in the Kathmandu Valley. The legend related to the history of the town tells of a kingdom that was created and how the Tantric goddess Bajrajogini was significant in the establishment of Sankhu. Her shrine is hidden in the dense forests surrounding the town and it is a place of pilgrimage for many Hindus and Buddhists.
The annual Sankhu festival is also held in her honor. Her shrine consists of beautiful statues, stupas and a few other shrines. The main structure at the shrine was constructed in the year 1655 by the then King, Prakas Malla. It is the most historic and oldest shrine that is located in this area. The goddess of wisdom is honored at the Sankhu Bajra Jogini and Hindus make their way to this shrine to offer blood sacrifices to the goddess. Buddhists have their own tantras here to make their own offerings. The caves that are located near the temple of Bajrajogini should also be explored, as it is said that in the cave that has two rooms the priest pays penance here for his love for her.
The Changunarayan Temple and the Salinadi River (a holy river in the Hindu religion) are two other very important and breathtaking sights. The lush green forests that surround Sankhu are worth looking into, as they are peaceful and magical, with many creatures and birds that make the forest their home. This charming destination in Nepal has a wonderful mixture of culture, tradition, history and spectacular beauty to share with visitors. It is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience and is a recommended town to visit when in Nepal.