Nyatapola is Nepal’s tallest temple and one of the tallest buildings in the Kathmandu Valley, built in 1702 by King Bhupatindra Malla. It might come as a surprise to you that this ancient five-storey building has survived two of the most hard-hitting earthquakes in Nepal, while other modern structures turned to rubble. Some architectural marvel we can say! While Nepal may not be counted amongst the technology-leaders of the world today, surely this temple exemplifies their skills during the past.
The temple is devoted to Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi, a wrathful incarnation of Goddess Durga. The goddess’s idol is so terrifying that devotees are not allowed to enter the inner shrine and only the temple’s priests can see it. The other idols, which are less fearsome can be viewed and worshipped by the visitors.
Along the stairway…
To reach the temple’s main platform, you will have to climb a flight of stairs, guarded by several figures on either side of each step. Standing first are Jayamel and Phattu, two famous wrestlers who are believed to be the strongest men in Bhaktapur, allegedly having the strength of ten men. Next are two elephants, followed by two lions, two griffins and at last there are “Baghini” and “Singhini”, the tiger and lion goddesses. The order of these statues is strategic, as each protector is said to be ten times stronger than the preceding one.
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