Panauti Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
The ancient city Panauti located south east of the capital Kathmandu. The bus/taxi takes only 45 minute to reach there. This delightful small town (pop. 23,000) remains relatively untouched by the changes taking place elsewhere . Large and prestigious temples are the only reminders of past glories when Panauti enjoyed a prime position on two trade routes and even boasted a palace. Situated at the confluence of the Rivers Rosi and Punyamati, the town occupies a sacred site. A third river, called Lilamati, visible only to the wise, is said to flow into the others from the Gorakhnath Shrine on the hill above the town.
The triple-roofed Shiva Temple was originally built over a lingam in 1294, making it the oldest surviving temple in Nepal. Kathmandu's Kasthamandapa is actually older, but did not start out as a shrine. The mandir - modeled on the Pashupatinath Temple - took on its present appearance in the 15th c., though the third story is of later date. The roof struts embellishing the two lower stories are acknowledged masterpieces of Nepalese wood-carving. Shiva is represented in various forms, and there are some small erotic scenes. The slender, perfectly proportioned figures, portrayed as in a dance, are extraordinarily graceful. The upper section of the temple is hung with pots and pans, offerings from young married couples hoping for a happy family life. The 1988 earthquake caused considerable damage and the building is still awaiting restoration by foreign experts.