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An update from Evaneos

Changunarayan (Nepal)

Practical information about Changunarayan

  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Unesco World Heritage
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
6km by taxi from Bhaktapur
When to go
October to March
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Changunarayan

Aurélia Hillaire Travel writer
12 travel articles

Perched at a 1,700m, the Changu Narayan Temple is one of the Kathmandu's oldest sanctuaries. It's one of seven monuments that, in 1979, became UNESCO World Heritage Sites

My suggestion:
Even though it's in an isolated area, this is a must-see of the Kathmandu Valley. Don't be surprised if you have to pay to enter the town of Changunarayan. 

The Changu Narayan is one of the country's most famous Hindu sanctuaries and takes pride of place in this little red-brick town. Sadly, it was damaged during the devasting 2015 earthquake, particularly during the second one on 12th May. 

Built during the 6th Century on top of a hill, it's dedicated to Vishnou (or Narayan in Hindu). The area is dotted with accommodation for pilgrims, who have been coming here for centuries. 

I'm not sure what state it's in today, but do I hope you'll get to see its wonderful golden doors, wooden sculptures and strange stone carvings that are half man, half woman - representations of Shiva/Parvati and Vishnou/Lakshmi as single beings. It's as romantic as it is spiritual

Changu Narayan, jewel of the Kathmandu Valley.
Travel writer
181 travel articles

Village and temple dedicated to Vishnu, on the outskirts of the rice fields of Bhaktapur.

My suggestion:
The area has been seriously damaged during the 2015 earthquake (I went there the year before), so a few temples might be ruined... Information to be confirmed on site or when you are planning your trip to Nepal.

A trip to the village of Changu Narayan and to its eponym temple are definitely worth considering if you have a few days to spend in the surroundings of Kathmandu. You can reach it via a 2 hour walk in the forest from Bhaktapur. I chose the local colour bus, in other words having the latest Bollywood hits as musical and visual background... Music which isn't very spiritual, but has the knack of putting all kitsch lovers in a good mood.

Although the area is less touristic than Dubar Square, there are many souvenir shops around the temple. It's also logical, the Changu Narayan is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. I guess that during the time I went there, the local inhabitants expected to see the number of visitors increase each year.

I really liked the spot and I must admit, however, after a succession of diverse and varied temple visits (there are lots of them in the region), I started a little bit - shame on me - to be rather choosy... But the village with its superb traditional houses and particularly its really pleasant atmosphere is worth a visit; definitely recommended! 

Changu Narayan Temple