Legend of Manakamana

In this post, we will give you information about the legend of the Manakamana temple. Located in the east of Pokhara way up on the hill of Gorkha district is a very popular temple of Manakamana. People from all over Nepal visit the temple and is open to all caste and creeds. Mana means the mind and kamana means wishes in Nepali. It is believed that wishes are fulfilled if asked with a pure intent at the Manakamana temple.

People queue at the Shrine in the early hours to ask for anything and everything that they wish.

The temple a day-long trek up a steep but picturesque hill from Kurintar on the Kathmandu Pokhara highway is now easily accessible by a cable car.

The temple is built in a Pagoda style with roofs of copper. The shrine seems to have come into existence from the time of King Ram Shah of Gorkha. An interesting Legend says that the king had a trusted advisor name Lakhan Thapa who was also very devoted of his queen Lilavati.

Manakamana Cable car
Manakamana Cable car

The king found it strange to find his queen disappear periodically, and to his dismay, that Lakhan Thapa was accompanying her on her mysterious sojourn. He decided to find out and to his great surprise, he saw the queen riding away on the tiger. Mortal beings cannot ride a tiger. He was convinced his consort was goddess Bhagawati, who had taken the human form.  In the past, it was believed that Gods and Goddesses used to come down to the Earth to taste the people of their devotions. 

The next day the queen notice the change in the king’s behavior towards her and asked about it. He told her what he had witnessed the previous night. She replied that since he had discovered her true identity, he had lost the likelihood of becoming the king of kings. She vowed to him that one of his Successors would become one. This was to come to true Prithvi Narayan Shah one of his descendants captured the Kathmandu Valley and other kingdoms forming present-day Nepal which was akin to being King of Kings.

Soon after his Revelation the king fell ill and died. The queen too decided to end her Mortal body by performing Sati, burning herself on the dead husband’s pyre. Seeing his devotional duty to the queen coming to an end, Lakhan Thapa asked her about his future. She told him she would soon return in some form and that he and his descendants were to take care of worshipping her as the head priest.

 Time passed on till one day, a farmer while tilling his field on a Hilltop happened to strike a stone, the stone bleed. The news of this unnatural incident spread far and wide and reached the palace of Gorkha.  

Lakhan Thapa remembered queen Lilavati’s words and built the temple on the spot. Thus,  the cult of worshipping Manakamana Devi started. Even to this day, the descendants of Lakhan Thapa are the head priest of the temple.

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