Discover the Holy Khumbeshwar Temple
To the North of Durbar Square in Patan, you will find a strikingly old structure that towers above surrounding buildings. The walls are intricately carved and there are large patches of red on each corner of the building that make it unmistakable. This is the Khumbeshwar Temple – a religious attraction that you should make every effort to see during your stay in Patan.
There are three five-story temples in this valley and the Khumbeshwar Temple is one of them. The bottom two tiers of the pagoda-style temple are incredibly old. In fact they date back to the 14th century (1392) and so the Khumbeshwar Temple is often seen as being one of the oldest temples in the country. The top three tiers were added quite sometime later in the 17th century and the temple is topped in gold. The graceful structure is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has special significance in the worship of the locals. There are a number of legends surrounding the temple and the nearby Gosainkunda Lake. One legend says that Gosainkunda Lake was created by Shiva who used his trident to make it. Another tells about a devout Hindu who lost his brass water vessel while bathing in Gosainkunda Lake. He was unable to retrieve it in the lake but later discovered that it had miraculously reappeared in the Khumbeshwar Temple in Patan. Both legends refer to the strong belief that there is an underground channel that connects the Khumbeshwar Temple with the Gosainkunda Lake. There is a sacred pool situated next to the temple which is believed to contain the waters of Gosainkunda Lake. The pool is always unusually cold, giving some credit to the underground channel belief that is held so dear by locals. The pool is often used by people who are unable to make the annual pilgrimage to Gosainkunda Lake for their ritual bath.
If you choose to enter this sacred site, you will find a gold Nandi on a brick pedestal located in the courtyard. The inner sanctum features a multiheaded image of Shiva that has been covered in sandalwood paste and dressed in orange. The image is carefully guarded by two stylized lions. There is also a nearby grassy courtyard where you may find Nandi grazing contentedly, as well as chickens, goats and ducks. The Khumbeshwar Temple will give your travels another dimension and should not be missed if you visit Patan.