Introduction of Budhanilkantha Statue
The Budhanilkantha statue is the statue of Hindu God Vishnu which is located about 9 to 10 km from the Kathmandu- the capital city of Nepal. It is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu.It is situated at the base of the Shivapuri Hill. This temple is also known as Narayanthan temple or Budhanilkantha temple and God Vishnu is also called Sleeping Vishnu or Jalakshayan Narayan. The word Budhanilkantha literally means “Old Blue Throat” in English.
The Budhanilkantha temple is located approx 10 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu city in Budhanilkantha Municipality in Kathmandu district. You can get local vehicles from different parts of Kathmandu (especially Kalanki, Ratnapark, Newbus park, and Maharajgunj).
Structure of Budhanilkantha Statue
It is one of the most attractive stone carving in all of Nepal which is carved from a single block of black basalt stone. The length of the Budhanilkantha Statue is 5 m. it lies in a reclining position in a recessed tank of fresh water which is especially a small pond like structure. The pond is 13 meter in its length. The idol (statue) depicts the deity on the curved (twisted) coils of the cosmic serpent Shesha (Shesha is the eternal, multi-headed king of the snake gods known as Nagas in Hindi and Nepali, and it is also the servant of God Vishnu). The feet of God Vishnu is crossed and the 11 heads of Shesha (Nagas) Cradle his head. The four hands of Vishnu holds objects that are Chakra or disc which represents the mind, a conch-shell (called Sankha in Nepali), a lotus flower (represents the moving universe) and the Kaumodaki (represents primeval knowledge).
History of Budhanilkantha Statue
There exist two stories that offer different origin story of the Budhanilkantha statue. One story says that that statue was sculpted and was brought to its current location Kathmandu by forced labor during monarch Vishnu Gupta in seventh-century who was controlling Kathmandu valley under the rule of the Licchavi king Bhimarjunadev.
Another story says that in past a farmer and his wife occupied a farm in an area and during the cultivation of land they struck the statue and Immediately after that, the blood started flowing from the ground and thus the deity of lost Buddhanilkanth was recovered and placed in its correct place. Whatever the real facts of the statue and its time of creation. It was considered as a representation of God Vishnu.
Why Hindu Kings of Nepal do not visit Budhanilkantha temple????
In the late fourteen century, Jayasthitihi Malla- the Malla King (1282-1395) was credited with reviving the Vishnu sect so that he can often claim the incarnation of this incarnate Lord. Later kings of Nepal, most notably Pratap Malla (1641-1674) also made that claim. According to a story from that time, Pratap Malla had a vision of a prophecy, which resulted in his conviction and fear that the King of Nepal would go to Buddha Nilkantha temple, death would soon be on his departure. To continue this day, the Hindu Kings of Nepal stop visiting the temple. Devotion to other Hindus is to approach the feet of Vishnu, and after touching them, praying and/or thanking God (but foreign visitors are forbidden to do so).
Festival Celebrated in Budhanilkantha Temple
In Budhanilkantha temple Haribondhini Ekadashi takes place on the eleventh day of the Hindu month of Kartik i.e. (October- November). This festival is attended by thousands of pilgrims. This festival is celebrated in order to awake the Lord Vishnu from his long sleep.
It is interesting to note that there are two other stone carving statues of Vishnu exists in the city Kathmandu. One which is located in Balaju Ganden and can be visited by general people whereas another is in the Royal Palace which cannot be viewed by the general public
Some Places to visit in Nepal