Gokarna is famous for having the second oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley, which was built in 1582 next to the Bagmati River and devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple is particularly special because of the variety of sculptures and carvings of gods and goddesses on the site.
At a distance of ten kilometers on northeast of Kathmandu lies a beautiful village Gokarna. This place is well known for Gokarna Mahadev temple. Over the entrance of the temple is a golden torana with Shiva and Parvathi in the centre in the Uma Maheshwar position (Parvathi has her hand on Shiva’s knee). People go to this temple to bathe and make offerings in honor of their living as well as deceased fathers.
About The Temple
Set beside the Bagmati River, which is a clear mountain stream, the Gokarneshwar (Lord of Gokarna) Temple is an easy 6 Km trip from Bodhnath on the road to Sundarijal. Dedicated to Shiva as Mahadev (the great god), this handsome three-tiered temple is a fine example of Newari pagoda style, but the mainstay is the exquisite stone carvings adorning the compound, dating back more than a thousand years.
The sculptures provide an A to Z of Hindu deities, from as Aditya (the Sun God) and Chandra (the Moon God) to Indra (the elephant-borne God of War and Weather) and Ganga. Vishnu is depicted as Narasimha, disembowelling the demon Hiranyakashipu, while Shiva makes several appearances, including as Kamadeva, the God of Love.
The god Gauri Shankar is interesting since it contains elements of both Shiva and Parvathi. The Brahma figure in the southwest corner appears to have only three heads until one looks around the back and discover the hidden one. Many of the deities have one foot on their vahana, or spiritual vehicle. Shiva's vehicle Nandi is a large statue, made from brass panels, over a stone base, in front, and Shiva is in the form of an enormous lingam inside the main chamber.
The people of Nepal who have recently lost their fathers visit the temple, particularly during Gokarna Aunsi, the Nepali Father's Day, which falls in September.
Behind the temple, just above the river, is the Vishnu Paduka, a metal plate with a footprint of Vishnu. Just in front, there is an image of Narayana reclining on snakes. To the north of the pavilion is a remarkable shrine consumed by a fig tree.
Kathmandus Tribhuvan International is the only international airport in the country of Nepal. The airport has flights operational to and from various destinations all across the globe. Within Nepal, the entire country is connected through air, even though by small aircrafts at most places with smaller runways.
A rail route between Nepal and India has been operational for the past 13 years. The journey begins at Jaynagar in Bihar and commences at the Janakpur Dham in Nepal. This is a narrow gauge line.
One can walk, cycle, take a minibus from Bodhnath or hire a taxi from Kathmandu or from Bodhnath.
Gokarna Mahadev Temple, Jorpati-Sundarijal Road,
Gokarneshwar, Kathmandu District,
Bagmati Zone, Nepal,
Pincode – 44600.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple remains open from morning 05.30 AM to 10.00 PM in the night.