The Manakamana Devi temple, that lies on kafaldada hill of 1300m altitude in Gorkha district at about 105 kilometers west of Kathmandu, is a widely revered sacred location of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati (who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati). The name Manakamana has been derived from two words, mana meaning heart and kamana meaning wish. So, as the name suggests, it is widely believed that the wishes and desires of the devotees will be fulfilled here. This place is mainly famous among the newly married couple to wish for their upcoming children’s good health and fortune. Manakamana temple can be reached by hiking a three hours journey from abukhairini rural municipality or it can be accessed through Manakamana Cable Car that was built on 1998 AD.
Manakamana Temple was constructed in the 17th century during the reigns of two Gorkha Kings, Ram Shah and Prithvi Pati Shah, according to Nepali folklore. Only the persistent Lakhan Thapa knew about the Queen of Gorkha’s “divine abilities” of Manakamana.The King saw his wife in the shape of Goddess Manakamana and persisted her as a lion, and after telling her about it, the king strangely died.The queen then offered herself as a sacrifice by remaining at the top of the King’s funeral pyre following the ritual of sati pratha. The Queen had told her follower Lakhan Thapa that he would see her again soon before she died. After some time, the farmer spotted a stone from which blood and milk were pouring later while plowing a field.When the relentless Lakhan Thapa came to know about this, he was sure that this was some sort of magical sign from the queen and instantly constructed a temple at the respective site. The current temple, built in the 19th century, is a replacement for the one built by Lakhan Thapa. The temple priest, according to legends, must be a descendant of Lakhan Thapa and his family.
Vicinity and Attractions:
Manakamana Temple is a two-storey temple that is constructed on Nepalese Pagoda Style architecture and covers a total area of 3.89 square kilometers. The temple is situated in a square that is dominated by a massive sacred magnolia tree. The Manakamana temple sits on a ridge above the Trisuli and Marshyangdi river valleys, with eye soothing views of Mt. Manaslu, Himalchuli, and Annapurna ranges to the north. This holy religious site is crowded by pilgrims in almost all seasons.
-Article written by: Ujjwal Bhetwal for Land Nepal