Quentin Percy

Quentin Percy

Published: 14 Sep 2023

Source: Wikipedia.org

The Budhanilkantha Temple, located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, is a captivating destination that holds immense cultural and religious significance. This ancient temple, also known as the Sleeping Vishnu Temple, is renowned for its extraordinary stone sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position on a bed of serpents.

With its rich history and stunning architecture, Budhanilkantha Temple attracts both locals and tourists alike. The temple’s serene atmosphere and spiritual aura make it a haven for those seeking solace and a deeper connection with the divine.

In this article, we will explore 18 fascinating facts about the Budhanilkantha Temple, shedding light on its historical background, architectural marvels, religious significance, and unique features that make it a must-visit landmark in Nepal.

Table of Contents

The Origins of Budhanilkantha Temple

The Budhanilkantha Temple is believed to have been built around the 8th century during the Licchavi period in Nepal. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is considered the preserver and protector in Hindu mythology.

The Imposing Stone Sculpture

One of the most jaw-dropping features of the Budhanilkantha Temple is the massive stone sculpture of Lord Vishnu lying on a bed of coils, known as the “Sleeping Vishnu.” The sculpture measures about 5 meters in length and is carved out of a single block of black basalt stone.

The Intricate Details

The carving of the Sleeping Vishnu is remarkably intricate, with exquisite details portraying the various divine attributes of Lord Vishnu. The sculpture depicts Lord Vishnu in a reclining position, with his four arms holding different symbolic objects.

The Mysterious Origin of the Stone

The origin of the enormous stone used for the sculpture remains a mystery. Legend has it that the stone was discovered by a farmer while plowing his field. When he struck the stone with his plow, blood began to ooze from it, revealing the hidden treasure beneath.

The Sacred Act of Worship

Devotees from all over Nepal and beyond visit the Budhanilkantha Temple to offer prayers and worship Lord Vishnu. The temple is especially crowded during religious festivals like Dashain and Haritalika Teej.

The Unique Water Offering

A significant ritual performed at the Budhanilkantha Temple is the pouring of water over the sculpture of Lord Vishnu. Devotees believe that this act, known as “Jal Abhishek,” brings blessings and purifies their body and soul.

The Background Story

According to ancient myths, Lord Vishnu appeared in the dream of King Vishnu Gupta and commanded him to build a temple in honor of the Sleeping Vishnu. Following the divine instructions, the king constructed the Budhanilkantha Temple at the desired location.

The Importance of the Location

The Budhanilkantha Temple is strategically located near the northern outskirts of Kathmandu Valley, at the base of the Shivapuri Hills. The surrounding lush greenery and serene atmosphere enhance the spiritual ambiance of the temple.

The Religious Significance

For Hindus, the Budhanilkantha Temple holds great spiritual significance. It is believed that offering prayers and making donations at this sacred site can fulfill one’s wishes, bring good fortune, and cleanse sins.

The Beauty of the Shivapuri National Park

The Budhanilkantha Temple is adjacent to the Shivapuri National Park, a popular destination for nature lovers and hikers. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna, including various species of birds and mammals.

The Festive Atmosphere

During major festivals like Janmashtami and Nag Panchami, the Budhanilkantha Temple is adorned with elaborate decorations and colorful lights, creating a festive atmosphere that attracts scores of devotees and tourists.

The Unique Architecture

The architectural style of the Budhanilkantha Temple combines traditional Nepali design elements with intricate woodcarvings and exquisite stone craftsmanship. The temple’s roof is adorned with beautifully carved wooden struts and brackets.

The Protective Enclosure

The Budhanilkantha Temple is enclosed within a protective wall, with ornamental gates leading into the temple complex. This enclosure symbolizes the sacredness of the temple and provides a serene space for devotees to offer their prayers.

The Historical Restoration

In the past, the Budhanilkantha Temple underwent several periods of restoration to preserve its architectural beauty and cultural heritage. The latest restoration work was carried out in the early 2000s, ensuring the temple’s longevity.

The Peaceful Surroundings

The Budhanilkantha Temple is situated in a tranquil area away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The serene ambiance and stunning natural surroundings make it an ideal place for meditation and introspection.

The Synergy of Nature and Spirituality

The Budhanilkantha Temple harmoniously blends spirituality with nature, creating a seamless connection between the divine and the natural world. The temple’s location amidst the verdant hills and pristine environment adds to its allure.

The Offering of Garlands

Devotees often bring garlands of flowers to adorn the sculpture of Lord Vishnu. The fragrant garlands symbolize love, devotion, and respect towards the deity.

The Symbol of Unity

The Budhanilkantha Temple represents the unity among different religious communities in Nepal. People from Hindu, Buddhist, and other spiritual backgrounds visit the temple, fostering interfaith harmony and understanding.

The Budhanilkantha Temple remains a sacred place of worship, attracting visitors from far and wide to experience its spiritual energy and architectural magnificence. Whether you are a religious devotee or a curious traveler, a visit to this timeless temple is truly a memorable experience.


Budhanilkantha Temple is a truly remarkable and significant landmark that holds deep cultural and religious importance in Nepal. With its fascinating history, architectural beauty, and spiritual significance, the temple continues to attract visitors from all around the world. Whether it’s the awe-inspiring 5-meter-long idol of Lord Vishnu or the serene atmosphere that envelops the temple complex, Budhanilkantha is a place that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.

From the mythical legends to the intricate stone carvings, there is no shortage of captivating aspects to explore and appreciate. The temple serves as a testament to the rich heritage and deep-rooted beliefs of the Nepalese people. Whether you’re a devout pilgrim or simply an intrigued tourist, a visit to Budhanilkantha Temple is a must for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the cultural tapestry of Nepal.


1. What is the significance of Budhanilkantha Temple?

Budhanilkantha Temple holds immense religious significance as it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe according to Hindu mythology. It is believed that worshipping Lord Vishnu at this temple brings blessings, prosperity, and spiritual fulfillment.

2. How old is the Budhanilkantha Temple?

The temple is believed to have been built in the 7th century during the Licchavi dynasty, making it over a thousand years old. However, there are mentions of a smaller temple existing even before that period.

3. Can visitors enter the Budhanilkantha Temple?

While visitors are not allowed to enter the temple’s inner sanctum and touch the idol of Lord Vishnu, they can still witness its grandeur from a distance and offer prayers from outside the temple. It is important to respect the sacredness of the temple and follow the guidelines set by the authorities.

4. Are there any specific dress codes to be followed while visiting the temple?

As a place of worship, it is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting Budhanilkantha Temple. Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees. Removing footwear before entering the temple premises is also customary.

5. Are there any festivals or special events celebrated at Budhanilkantha Temple?

Yes, the temple sees a significant influx of devotees and tourists during the Hindu festivals of Haribodhini Ekadashi and Kartik Ekadashi. These occasions witness various religious rituals and offerings being made to Lord Vishnu.

6. Is there an entrance fee for visiting Budhanilkantha Temple?

No, there is no entrance fee required to visit Budhanilkantha Temple. However, donations towards the maintenance and upkeep of the temple are always welcome.