Panauti is one of the historical Newari town of Nepal located 34 km southwest of Kathmandu. It is believed to have been given by King Bhupatindra Malla as a dowry to his sister but was merged later into the Kingdom of Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah. Panauti is perhaps the most important cultural site of Nepal after Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.
There are many places to visit in Panauti. Filled with various Hindu and Buddhist monuments like Indreshwor temple, remnants of Panauti (Layaku) Durbar square, Gorakhnath, Triveni Ghat and many more, Panauti is inhabited mostly by Newari, Brahmins, Chhetri, and Tamang people and is immensely rich in the culture and the tradition.
Road paved with colorful stones, houses built in old architectural styles, warm hospitality of People is what attracts most of the tourists in Panauti.
Situated between the two rivers, Roshi and Punyamati, fish-shaped Panauti situated on a single rock. It is believed that there is an invisible holy river – visible only to the lucky ones and intellectuals known as Lilawati which converges with the other two rivers making it a tri-junction called a Triveni where stands Triveni Ghat (the place where dead peoples are cremated).
There are more than 40 temples in Panauti dedicated to various deities. This beautiful town is filled with half dozens of stupas, three communal houses with a deity idol residing in the upper room, one Buddhist shrine, plenty of public resting places, six stone taps, and three public squares.
Places to Visit
Panauti is home to one of the largest and tallest three-storied temple of Nepal, Indreshwor Mahadev temple. Built over a lingam in 1294 with an excellent Newari wood carving architecture, Indreshwor temple happens to be the oldest surviving temple of Nepal which even survived the 2015 earthquake and is in good condition.
Triveni ghat is another important place to visit in Panauti. It is a holy ground where people from different races cremate the dead body of their relatives. Triveni ghat is crowded with temples like Brahmayani, Krishna Narayan temple, Unmata Bhairav Temple, and Ahilya temple. Various mesmerizing paintings of various deities can be seen on the wall of the temples around this area.
Gorakhnath is another temple located at the hilltop overlooking Panauti valley. Covered with green forests, Gorakhnath offers picturesque views of Panauti along with Ganesh Himal, other mountain ranges.
Another site to visit is Panauti Durbar Square, which is yet to be excavated to a larger extent to reveal more about Panauti. Many artifacts and remnants such as stone taps, bricks, water wells, and coins were found among some excavated sections of the palace.
Festivals of Panauti
Panauti Jatra (Jya Punhi), held in May-June, is a three-day festival conducted in the durbar square with deity icons taken around the city in chariots.
Makar Mela is a month-long fair held once every 12 years at Triveni Ghat when thousands of devotees from all around Nepal come to take the holy bath at Punyamati to be free from their sins.
Yomari Punhi is the festival when Yomari (Small rice dough with the mixture of treacle and sesame seed wrapped inside it) is made.
Devi Nach is a masked dance that originated from Panauti, in which deities, demons, and animals are represented through masks and takes place during Indra Jatra.
Namobuddha festival is celebrated at Namobuddha in honor of Prince Mahasatwo, who sacrificed his body to feed a starving tiger and her cubs.
Reivaj from UK describes Panauti as a great place, to visit the temple and the rest of the village.
Jess VJ from Australia says that the Panauti is very interesting town to walk around a look at the architecture. Temple is beautiful and there is a museum that you can visit too. Unsure of the entrance fee as we went with a tour that paid our entrance fee for us.
Dave from Australia says that the Panauti is a lovely old Newari town with exquisite and undamaged temples.
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