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Bungamati: The Village of Gods

07 Jan, 2024
Machhindranath Temple

Bungamati, which is also known as ‘Amarapur’ meaning ‘the village of gods’ is located in the southern part of Lalitpur district of Nepal. It is also considered as the religious and cultural epicentre of all the places within the Kathmandu valley and is a significant tourist destination both from historical and religious point of view.

Bungamati is a place where devotees come together to conclude their annual religious and cultural events, occurring once a year and every twelve years. A village that was known as ‘the village of gods’ in the past; currently has many heritage sites that have several tales of interesting battles, origin of traditional foods, extraordinary myths and is a place of hope and compassion. It is important to preserve the stories of an ancient heritage like Bungamati which has its own distinct history of more than roughly 2000 years.

Major Attractions of Bungamati

1. Rato Machhindranath Temple

The temple of Shree Rato Machhindranath- ‘the god of rain and food crops,’ is one of the most important heritage sites of Bungamati. According to legend, Shree Rato Machhindranath who was brought from Kamarup to Nepal Mandal is worshipped here as he put an end to the twelve year long drought and famine in Nepal Mandal. Every twelve years, the Jatra of Shree Rato Machhindranath is held here with great devotion and grand celebration.

2. Aaju Aji Temple

Most of the heritage present at Bungamati has myths and tales associated with Shree Rato Machhindranath. Aaju Aji Temple or the Manakamana Temple at Bungamati remains open only for three days in a year. However, due to the legends, Jatras and beliefs associated with Aaju Aji Temple, this temple has become a symbol of faith among devotees for a long time.

3. Bhairav Temple

Hyagriv Bhairav: ‘the remover of obstacles’, is also considered as a form of Lokeshwor (Machhindranath). This temple is believed to have been established here even before the establishment of Shree Rato Machhindranath Temple at Bungamati. To celebrate Hyagriv Bhairav, Bhairav Jatra is celebrated from the ninth day of Dashain till the eleventh day of Dashain.

4. Kochhya Bahal

The Kochhya Bahal which was established around the period of Shree Machhindranath’s arrival at Nepal Mandal, is a significant cultural heritage site of Bungamati. It is believed that “Ponga Baja”, which is usually played signifying the successful completion of any religious work/festival was played alongside Machhindranath’s urn (vessel) while bringing the deity to Nepal Mandal. This traditional musical instrument is one of the most unique attractions of Kochhya Bahal and Bungamati.

5. Chunidevi Temple

Chunidevi Temple located at Bungamati is known for a unique miracle where the devotees offer flour to the lion idols located outside the temple door and the leftover remnants are given to the sick and barren animals as medicine in the form of meal. People believe that the animals will not only recover from the disease, but also regain their fertility after this act.

6. Karyabinayak

People believe that worshipping at Karyabinak temple (located at Bungamati) either for the completion of unfinished works or prior to starting a new work, leads to the successful completion of work. According to legend, for successfully bringing Rato Machhindranath to Nepal Mandal, King Narendra Dev, tantrik guru Bandhudatta and Lalit Jyapu worshipped here at Karyabinayak Temple before heading to Kamarup.

7. Prathampur Mahabihar

Prathampur Mahabihar is named so as it is considered as the first bihar constructed in the Bungamati region. According to traditional practices, Shree Rato Machhindranth is required to sit in an area where there is a “Bahal” and a “Bahi or Bihar.” Thus, Prathamapur Mahabihar was constructed at Bungamati within the premises of Shree Rato Machhindranath temple.   

QR Story Board installed at Bhringareshwor Temple, Sunaguthi – Lalitpur Metropolitan City Ward no.27