Secrets of Budhanilkantha Temple: Where Kings Fear to Go

Budhanilkantha Temple (बुढानीलकण्ठ) is a famous pilgrimage site also known as Narayanthan. It is located below the Shivapuri Hill in Budhanilkantha municipality, Kathmandu. In Nepalbhasa, it is known as Bhuija-Si Narayan dhya by the Newa community. It is a 1400-year-old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is the largest stone carving in Nepal from a single block of black basalt stone. 


The statue is 5 meters in length in sleeping position on the twisting coils of the Shesha Nagh (multi-headed serpent) in the middle of a small pond (representing the cosmic sea). The statue is believed to be floating on the pond, but no studies were allowed. A small piece of the statue was found, and after research, it was found that the statue was silica-based. It has the ability to float on water due to its low density.

Buddhist followers also worship in this temple as Neelkanth Lokeshwar. Every day the idol is bathed, and nitya puja is held in this temple every day at 7:30 AM. 

Major Attractions of Budhanilkantha Temple and Nearby

sculpture of a sleeping VishnuThe sacred pond water is believed to have originated from Gosainkund.The statue is believed to be floating on the pond.Hike to Shivapuri HillJamchen Vijaya Stupa


According to the Devmala Bansawali, King Srishabhadeva established the Budhanilkanth temple, but it is not clearly written about the statue of Vishnu. It is said that in Bikram Sambat 398, King Mandev established many Shivlingas, but other details are not mentioned. Evidence of the Vishnu statue’s existence dates back to the Licchavi period around the 6th century. 

The Legend of Budhanilkantha Temple

According to the legend, a farmer and his wife were ploughing their field. Suddenly, a plough struck a boulder, and blood started flowing continuously from the cut on the finger of a stone statue into the ground. It surprised them, and they started to dig into the ground. The farmer discovered the statue of Lord Vishnu that had remained buried in the ground.

Nepalese monarchs never visited the temple.

Long ago, people said King Pratap Malla saw a dream that showed he was cursed. It said if he went to the Budhanilkantha temple, he would die. So, he never visited the temple. No Nepalese kings after him went there; instead, they visited Budhanilkantha at Balaju Baisdhara Park.

Earlier, the head of Lord Vishnu was surrounded by 12 Shesha Nagas, but now 11 Shesha Naga heads adorn the head of the statue. It is believed that once a king came, a snake came out chasing the king. The snake can still be seen near the temple. The serpent can now be seen near the gate on the south side of the temple. The reason is that the King himself is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He cannot meet himself without dying.


In the Haribondhini Ekadashi, there is a big fair held in the month of Kartika (October–November).

How do I reach Budhanilkantha Temple?

To reach the Budhanilkantha Temple, you can easily find comfortable microbuses from Sundhara or Lainchaur in Kathmandu. You can also reach there by bus or car.

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