Palanchok Bhagawati Temple
Palanchok Bhagawati Temple is one of the most famous temples for Hindus and Buddhists. It is one of the most famous destinations for tourists in Nepal. This temple is believed to have been constructed during king Man dev. There is an idol of 3 feet high goddess Bhagawati artistically carved in a black stone
Located on a hilltop at an altitude of 5125 feet from sea level, this historic Palanchok Bhagwati temple, nearly 56 kilometers east of Kathmandu valley on the Arniko highway, is accessible Palanchowk Bhagwati temple is situated 7 km north of the mountain of Panchkhal. There is 3 feet high goddess Bhagmati artistically carved in black stone. Palanchowk Bhagwati Temple is situated in Sathighare (meaning 60 houses) of Panchkhal municipality of Kavrepalanchok District in Nepal.
One can really enjoy the panoramic views of Palanchowk hill name after Bhagwati. Especially, this temple is famous for Hindus and Buddhists. Many tourists visit the Palanchok Bhagwati temple to observe the beautiful mountain on the top of the hill. There is also the facilities of hotel, lodge, and restaurants. Similarly, there is a hiking spot on the top of the hill of the Bhagwati river.
Many pilgrims visit the temple, especially on Tuesday and Saturdays. during those days animal sacrifice also takes place in the temple in order to please God. This place is also famous as a picnic spot and many people from different caste, diversity, religion, and ethnicities visit this temple.
People mostly believe that Palanchok Bhagwati is one of the most powerful Hindu religious gods. On the occasion of the Palanchok Bhagwati festival, the temple to decorated beautifully, and dances are performed to pray the god. Tourists are also provided with a special Nepali delicacy. Being a part of history, Palanchowk Bhagwati is visited by several tourists to see to observe the beauty of Nepalese historical monuments.
On Saturdays and during the Dashain festival, the Bhagwati temple is thronged with devotees full to overflowing with little or no room for movement. People wait in queues for hours to perform puja. Likewise, each year on Chandi Purnima or Baisakh Purnima (full moon day in May), festivity marks the temple site with people streaming in from the nearby villages and towns. During Dashain and on Buddha Jayanti (Lord Buddha’s birth anniversary), chariots bearing the images of Goddess Bhagwati and Ma Kali are driven around the village of Palanchok Bhagwati.
On such occasions, although the holy Hindu scriptures ordain the chanting of Vedic hymns (sacred scripture of divine knowledge) while worshipping Hindu God or Goddesses, surprisingly, Buddhist Tantrik (spiritual studies reflecting the practical aspect of Vedic tradition) verses are observed by the priests designated at the Palanchok Bhagwati temple.
History of Palanchok Bhagawati Temple
In almost all cases, deep-rooted history and legend characterize the temples and shrines in Nepal. So is the Palanchok Bhagwati–steeped in history and age-old myths. It is said that the founding of the Palanchok Temple at the present location was just a happenstance. The story goes back to the Licchavi Dynasty and its first ruler, King Manadeva First (464 -505 A. D). Going by the folklore, King Manadeva, once in his dream, was visited by the Goddess Palanchok Bhagwati who wished her idol re-located from a small village called Buchhakot elsewhere in the north. The king lost no time and with his Queen set upon the venerated mission escorted by a royal entourage along with the porters bearing the idol of Bhagwati. At sunset, the royal retinue with the troops pitched camp at a wooded hilltop called Jagpankpur. At early dawn, the next day, the royal team prepared to strike off camp and head further north.
To the bewilderment of everyone, the porters failed to heave the idol of the Bhagwati on their shoulders despite every possible attempt made. Confusion and uncertainty descended on the camp. Words flew around and the King was duly informed about the unexpected predicament. Priests learned pundits and Tantriks were sent for to find an answer to this fortuity.
After long discussions and a pressing consultation, the royal priests arrived at the decision that the Goddess willed to be instated at the very spot where she had been laid for the night and advised the King to that effect. Consequently, the foundation stone of the present-day Palanchok Bhagwati was laid. That made the little-known settlement called Jagpankpur a famous pilgrimage site and got its present-day name, Palanchok Bhagwati.
Located on a hilltop at an altitude of 5,125 feet from sea level, the historic Palanchok Bhagawati temple, 56 kilometers east of Kathmandu valley, 7 km north of the mountain of Panchkhal, is accessible through the Arniko highway. It usually two hour’s drive from Kathmandu. The road runs through familiar towns like Bhaktapur, Banepa, and Dhulikhel. After Dhulikhel, the road wends downhill to the fertile Panchkhal valley. After Panchkhal, at a small settlement called Lamidanda (47 km.), you have to take the right fork that goes uphill for the last leg of nine kilometers on a narrow zigzag course up a steep grade. Notable places on this stretch include the Hokse village and the Nepal Army’s UN Peace Keeping Force training barracks.
Behind Palanchok Bhagawati
On Saturdays and during festivals, the forepart of the Palanchok temple is thronged with devotees and vendors selling flowers, duck eggs, coconuts, and puja (worship) items. To the west, the temple overlooks a stunning view of the outspread Panchkhal valley with the sprawling fields as the Jhiku Khola(stream), meanders through the middle. To the east, the ridge drops to a breathtaking landscape of hills after wooded hills interspersed with terraced fields while the river Sun Koshi, partly visible from that distance, cuts through the middle. The temple site also boasts Peepul and eucalyptus trees, almost 200 to 400 years old.
Close to the temple, mostly tea shops and eateries line up the street. If you feel like it, try the sel-rotis (round rice-flour dough-nuts), a local delicacy, fried before your eyes at the road-side shops. For foreign as well as domestic tourists, comfortable overnight stays are also available at Palanchok.
Also read Pashupatinath Temple