The Spectacular Kumbeshwar Temple

Approximately four kilometers outside of Kathmandu, Nepal, lies one of the most beautiful cities in the country – Patan. Not only is Patan located within a picturesque valley but it is well known throughout Nepal for its art, jewelry, craftwork, painting and woodwork. The local’s ability to create beauty from wood and metal spans generations and the carvings and sculptures found within and outside the Nageswara Temple, Ramswamy Temple, Sarangapani Temple and the Kumbeshwar Temple are legendary, and have become great attractions in Patan.

The most popular of the temple attractions in Patan, is the Kumbeshwar Temple. It is one of the oldest structures in the city and is the oldest of the temples. As a religious site, many Shaman followers make the pilgrimage to the Kumbeshwar Temple to bring puja offerings to Lord Shiva during the annual Janai Festival and Janani Poornima Day, while others seek the power of Shiva from the lakes within the temple compound. The temple is also the site where it is believed that after defeating the demon Kumbhasura, Aadishakti disappeared.

Kumbeshwar Temple was constructed in the year 1392 during the rule of King Jayasthiti Malla. It was originally constructed as a two storey building, but during the seventeenth century three upper roofs were added, making it the tallest temple in Patan. When translated, the name Kumbeshwar carries the meaning of “Lord of the Water Pot” and fittingly so, as the temple was constructed to be the winter home of Shiva and is one of the one thousand and eight epithets of the god.

The temple is adorned with detailed and breathtaking woodcarvings. Surrounding the temple and within its compound, visitors will come across many spectacular sculptures and carefully created statues. During festivals, the temple becomes a sea of color and festivity as flowers and fascinating headdresses fill the shrine of the Baglamukhi goddess. Drums and dancing bring the temple to life during these times. However, throughout the rest of the year, it is a sight to behold and architectural wonder to marvel at. As a religious site, the Kumbeshwar Temple plays a major role in the faith of the Shamans. As one of the attractions in Patan, it leaves visitors speechless, filled with amazement and admiration.