Temples in Kathmandu impress me more with their sheer size than intricate craftworks.
But no other temples appealed me more than the famous Changu Narayan did.
I first knew about Changu Narayan when I was 9. There was a brief description with a picture of this oldest temple in Nepal on the history book of grade 4. Actually the lesson was about Manadev, a Lichchavi king and Changu Narayan was built by him along with Managriha, a castle. I was quickly in love with the temple then. But over time, the childhood image of it slowly ebbed away as I grew older. I never visited the temple.
Time went on. Sometimes it seemed whether I’d completely forgotten this world heritage site. But, in fact, the childhood memories of it had only left dormant. And recently it became prominent again.
Only a few months ago, I managed some time out of my schedule to pay a visit to this shrine.
Driving through (and also walking) the golden, harvest-ready wheat fields and the greenery of vegetables from Byasi, Bhaktapur to the small hilltop of Changu was quite an indelible experience.
You know I was apparently holding my breath to have a glimpse of this temple that once had fascinated then 9-year old child so much.
And I was like ‘oh my god!’ as I for the very first time saw the spire and the top of temple from the bus stand at Changu. The picture goes like this:
I’d now finally arrived to the place of my childhood crush. And the rest is history…
That is, I spent the whole day gazing at the magnificent temple and the wide assortment of bas-reliefs from our glorious past.
PS one of the many sculpted reliefs of Lord Vishnu (with his vehicle Garuda) at the premise of Changu Narayan has long decorated the front face of 10 Rupees bill.