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Pilgrimage Sites

Nepal has several ancient pilgrimage sites. Hundreds of famous temples are located in around the Kathmandu Valley. Some well-known pilgramage sites are Baraha Chhetra, Halesi Mahadev, Janakpur, Pathibhara, Manokamana, Gorkha, Lumbini, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Tansen, Kathmandu Valley in Central Nepal and Swargadwari, Khaptad Ashram in West Nepal. Pashupatinath, Swoyambhunath, and Boudhanath are the sites that are also listed in the UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Pashupati NathTemple: Situated 5 km. east of kathmandu, the temple of Lord Shiva,Pashupati Nath, with tow tiered golden roof and silver door is considered one of the holiest shrines for Hindus,although only Hindus are allowed inside temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river. The temple was listed in the UNESCO World heritage  Monument list in 1979 AD.
Baraha Chhetra
Located at the confluence of the Saptakoshi and Koka rivers, is 20km away from a town in eastern Nepal-Dharan. Baraha-chhetra is among the four great Hindu pilgrimages. Here, the Boar-Baraha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu is said to have killed the demon Hiranakshya. Apart from the main shrine dedicated to Baraha, there are many other temples with images of the Baraha in Baraha-Chhetra. Every year on the first Magh (November), a religious fare takes place here.

Manakamana Temple
The temple of Manakamana, a very popular pilgrimage in Nepal, is a temple of one of the manifestations of the Hindu goddess Bhagwati. Bhagwati is believed to have the power to fulfill wishes. It lies 125km to the west of Kathmandu. It is a steep three hour hike from Abu Khaireniion Kathmandu-Gorkha Highway. Cable-cars also take travellers to Manakamana.

Janaki Temple
Janakpur in the eastern Terai is one of the oldest and most famous cities of Nepal. Mithila was the capital of the Videha (bodyless) spiritual Janakas, the rulers who were the embodiment of spiritual attainment. Janaki, Sita was born to Sivadhwaga Janaka and was married to Rama, the King of Ayodhya the legendary hero of the great epic Ramayana.

Muktinath Temple
It is believed that all miseries / sorrows are relieved once you visit this temple (Mukti = Nirvana or status of Liberty / Free, Nath = God). The famous temple of Lord Muktinath lies in the district of Mustang and is situated about 18 kms northeast of Jomsom at an altitude of about 3800 meter. The main shrine is a pagoda shaped temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sets into the wall around it are 108 waterspouts from which pour holy water.

The temple is situated on a high mountain range and is visited during fair weather. There are two ways to get to Muktinath from either take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and hike for 7-8 hours from Jomsom or trek all the way from Pokhara through Kali-Gandaki valley, which takes 7/8 days. It is believed that one should visit this temple after competing pilgrimage of four special religious sites in India . This temple held sacred by Hindus as well as Buddhists. The Jwala Mai temple nearby contains a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural gas underground. Jomsom is a major center in the Annapurna region. There is a world-class accommodation facility in Jomsom from where one can enjoy remarkable natural beauty.

Gosaikunda
A lake is believed to have been created by Lord Shiva when he thrust his Trishula (trident) into a mountain to extract water so that he could cool his stinging throat after he had swallowed poison. There is a large rock in the center of the lake, which is said to be the remains of a Shiva shrine. People often claim that they see Shiva lying in the water. Devotees gather here in hordes on the full moon night of August to take holy dips in the lake.

Halesi Mahadev:
Halesi Mahadev has been a religious place for hindus as well as bhuddist since thousends of years. There are three caves that represent the three eyes of Shiva. Bhuddist who call these caves Maratika believe that Padmasambhava (the founder of Tibetan Bhuddism, the great Rinpoche) and his wife Mandarava freed themselves from the circle of lives and thus becomming immortal. 

A story goes that Shiva was on the run for the demon Bashmasur who Shiva himself gava a boon to kill any person he liked. Shiva flees in the Halesi caves to take shelter. In the cave Shiva gets help from Vishnu (the Protector) who kills the demon Bashmasur while Shiva flees through a hole in the ceiling of the cave. It is said that you can still see Shiva's foot steps in the air shaft and the intestines of the monster on the ceiling of the cave.

After the demon Bashmasur is defeated and the area is save Shiva and Parvati make the highest cave of Halesi their home. Inside this cave is a natural shiva lingam formed by a stalagmite. 

Balmiki Ashram:
The Balmiki Ashram is situated in a forest on the banks of the Tribeni river, at the south- western corner of the Chitwan National park. It was a retreat used by the great Hindu sage, Balmiki. This is where Sita is said to have lived with her two sons, Labha and Kusha, after separating from Rama. Various statues were unearthed in this area during an archeological excavation in the late 60's. Recently, a Temple of Sita has been built here.

Devghat:
Devghat is situated 6 km to the north of Bharatpur, the gateway to the Chitwan National Park. On the day of the Makar Sankranti festival in January pilgrims come here to take holy dips in the Narayani, formed by the meeting of the Kali gandaki and Trishuli. There is a settlement of a community of elderly, retired people here. Devghat can be reached by taking a daily flight or bus service.

Dhanushadham:
Dhanushadham, a historical and religious site, dates back to the time of the great epic- Ramayana. It is located 18 km north-east of Janakpur in the south- central region of Nepal. Dhanushadham was the place where Lord Rama had broke Shiva's divine bow, a condition for winning the hand of Sita in marriage. According to the epic, one of the three pieces of the bow fell in the present day Dhanushadham.

Ridi:
Ridi is among the most popular religious places in Nepal. Rikeshwor Narayan mandir, situated here, is the local version of the Pashupatinath temple with its auspicious Ghats (cremation grounds). It is situated at the confluence of The Kali Gandaki and the Ridi Khola, linked by a 50 km dirt road to the hill resort town of Tansen. During the Makar Sankranti festival, hundreds of devotees from different parts of the world throng the Dhanusha temple to worship the fossilized bow fragments and to take ritual dips in the river. Here, there are other temples dedicated to Ram and Ganesh too.

Simraugadh:
The capital of the former kingdom of Tirahut, is the seat of a rich civilization, which peaked between the 11th and 14th centuries. The ancient city suffered terrible devastation in the hands of invaders but its cultural glory remained in the archeological treasures that are found here. There many Hindu temples that draws people to this place in large numbers. Simraugadh is situated in the Terai plains to the south of Kathmandu. The most convenient access to this place, by air, is from Birgunj (270 km away from Kathmandu). Another route to Simraugadh is a Flight to Simara (15 minutes) and then a drive to Birgunj (25 km) from where it is 45 km to simraugadh.

Damodar Kund:
Many Hindus from round the globe are dreaming to take a holy bath at least once in their life time in the sacred Damodar-Kund, situated at the lap of high Himalayas in Upper Mustang area of Nepal . Here we are at their service to make their dream come true.

In the column of Barah Puran; Lord Krishna have said that who pays a visit to this Kunda and takes a deep-bath, they will be freed from all the sin. It is also mentioned in Puran that two sons of Kubers were suffering from their wrongdoing & sin, which they did in their previous birth but lord Krishna suggested them to take bath in this Kunda and immediately after taking bath in this Kunda they were released from all their sin. So the importance of a visit to this sacred place cannot be described in a short paragraph.

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