Pokhara is one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations. Every year, it draws tourists from all over the world, both domestic and foreign, and captures their wandering hearts. Bindhyabasini temple, located in the northern portion of the city, is one of Nepal’s most famous temples. It is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Bindhyabasini, a Bhagawati who is thought to be the city’s protector goddess. It is Pokhara’s oldest temple. The Bindhyabasini temple, situated on top of a tiny hill, sits calmly amid an ancient bustling market, 3002 feet above sea level, gazing out over the magnificent Himalayan mountains. In the midst of Pokhara’s chaos, the temple offers a breath of pure air.
The Bindyabasini Temple in Pokhara is dedicated to the goddess Durga or Bhagawati and the temple was built in 1842 BS. The temple area is so huge and it comprises of 47 ropanis of land. For the people of Pokhara, the temple holds great religious significance, and it has even become a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over the world. It is devoted to the goddess Durga, and in particular to Bhagwati, a murderous incarnation of the Goddess. Pilgrims are welcome to come to the temple and worship with their contributions. There is a Krishna Mandir on the other side of Bindhyabasini temple, where devotees celebrate Krishna Janmashtami, his yearly birthday. They may also visit temples dedicated to Saraswati, Hanuman, Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesh, and Jogi Paati, which are all located near the main temple.
Bindhyabasini is a version of Bhagawati that is said to be the substitute for Devaki and Vasudeva’s eighth child (Lord Krishna). When Kansa attempted to murder their ninth child, Devi Bindhyabasini, the woman who had been swapped, arrived. The goddess resides in the temple as a Shaligram, an auspicious stone.
History of Bindyabasini Temple: The mythology of Bindhyabasini temple began when Siddhi Narayan Malla, the king of Kaski, or Khadgaman Malla, the king of Parbat, dreamed of building a shrine for the goddess. As a result, he ordered some of his troops to return from present-day Uttar Pradesh, India, with a statue of the goddess. The warriors pitched their tents at the current temple area during their trip. They were unable to continue their journey the next morning since the god could not be removed from the encampment. As a result, the temple was built at Pokhara’s Mohariya Tole. Since then, this location has served as a gathering place for worshippers. The words “Bindhya” and “Basini” both imply “incarnation of goddess” and “dweller of a location.”
Architecture of Bindyabasini Temple: The Bindyabasini temple is constructed in the Shikhara style. It’s a white pagoda temple situated in the center of a park-like setting. The temple has a golden carved metal gate that offers us a glimpse inside and breaks up the whiteness. Two large golden metal lions stand erect just beside temple gate, while metal gong-bells ring out incessantly in the backdrop. At first look, the Bindhyabasini temple appears to be a modest but remarkable structure. The temple is governed by the local “Dharmik Chhetra Bikas Samiti.”
Best time to visit Bindyabasini Temple: The holy place can be visited at any time of the year. Because locals and visitors worship Bhagwati on a regular basis, the temple is usually open all year. Saturdays and Tuesdays are the most common days for animal sacrifices. During the nine days of the major Hindu festival of Dashain, the temple sees a large number of people. During this period, visitors must muster their courage to stand in long queues. The average visit to the temple lasts around an hour. In Pokhara’s fall, from September through November, the snowy mountain peaks are at their most beautiful. It is the perfect time to visit if you want to have the greatest sightseeing experience possible.
How to reach Bindyabasini Temple: The Bindyabasini Temple is about 5.5 kilometers distant from Lakeside, Pokhara. Take a local bus from your accommodation to the Hari Chowk bus station, which is the closest to the temple, and then walk up the short hill. It’s only a short distance. On the east and northeast sides of the temple, there are two major stone steps. You can also get there by driving your own vehicle or van. Tourists are also escorted to the location by private automobiles from various travel agencies. It is a 10-minute ride from Sarangkot and a 20-minute trip from the lakefront.
If you forget something, there are important shops for worship goods in the area. Pilgrims will be able to enjoy hymns and prayer songs performed on the grounds with Nepali musical instruments, especially on Saturdays. It creates a really religious atmosphere. Aside from that, the unique balcony on the temple’s periphery overlooks Pokhara and provides travelers with breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Machapuchare mountain ranges. The breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains, along with the intoxicating scent of incense sticks drifting from the temple, creates an exceptionally soothing atmosphere. Bindhyabasini Sanskrit Vidhyalaya and a bookshop are also worth seeing.
You can visit the temple after taking a stroll around Old Bazaar or after seeing the sunrise in Sarangkot. The route to Sarangkot is located at the top of the hill, near the temple. The temple is also close to Pokhara’s famed Phewa Lake. As a result, you may combine a tour to Phewa Lake with a visit to the Bindhyabasini temple. Pokhara is the perfect location to go if you want to relax in a little piece of heaven. Finally, Bindhyabasini temple is an item that should be on your bucket list. It’s well worth a visit, with a spectacular view of the mountains set against the tranquility of the lakes.
-By: Saru Niraula for Land Nepal