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Budhanilkantha Temple, located in Budhanilkantha, Nepal (Nepali: बुढानिलकण्ठ मन्दिर; Old Blue Throat), is an open-air Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu. Also known as the Narayanthan Temple, it is renowned for its large reclining statue of Lord Mahavishnu.

Religious Significance of Budhanilkantha Temple

Though the name Budhanilkantha might sound similar to Gautama Buddha, it actually originates from Sanskrit, meaning ‘Old Blue Throat.’ This title was given to Lord Shiva by the gods after he drank poison to save the world. The temple, however, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the ‘Trimurtis’ along with Brahma and Shiva.

Budhanilkantha Temple
Budhanilakantha Temple

The statue of Vishnu in the temple premises depicts him sitting on Garuda. According to Hindu scriptures like the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Ramayana, and Mahabharata, the origin of Gosaikunda is linked to the Samudra Manthan. The spring feeding the pond at Budhanilkantha Temple is believed to be connected to Gosaikunda, thus linking the temple to Lord Shiva despite the statue being dedicated to Lord Vishnu.


Budhanilkantha Temple is situated below Shivapuri Hill at the northern end of the Kathmandu Valley. It is located in the Budhanilkantha municipality of Kathmandu District, with the address being Golfutar Main Rd, Budhanilkantha 44600. The temple is approximately 10 kilometers from Tribhuvan International Airport and about 9 kilometers from Thamel.


The main statue is carved from a single block of black basalt stone, standing 5 meters tall (around 16.4 feet). It is positioned in the middle of a recessed pool of water, which is 13 meters (42.65 feet) long. The statue features Lord Vishnu holding the Sudarshana Chakra, a club, a conch shell, and a gem in his four hands. Adorned with a crown engraved with multiple Kirtimukha images, it is often overlaid with a silver crown. Believed to be over 1400 years old, this statue is considered the largest stone carving in Nepal.

Festivals at Budhanilkantha Temple

This becomes a pilgrimage site during the Haribondhini Ekadashi Mela, held on the 11th day of the Hindu month of Kartika (October–November) each year. This ritual marks the awakening of Lord Vishnu from his long sleep. Additionally, significant fairs are held at the temple during Ekadashis, Harishayani, and Haribodhini, marking the four-month sleeping period of Lord Vishnu.

Cultural Harmony

Budhanilkantha Temple is a revered site for Hindus and is also respected by Buddhists, who view the murti as Buddha. This demonstrates the longstanding religious harmony in the region.

Visit Budhanilkantha Temple

Experience the spiritual and cultural significance of Budhanilkantha Temple, an ancient site blending the reverence of Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and explore its historic and artistic treasures.