About Vatsala Durga Temple

The Vatsala Durga Temple is located Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Vatsala Durga Temple in Bhaktapur
Vatsala Durga Temple in Bhaktapur before the earthquake

It was built in 1672 by King Jagat Prakash Malla while the Taleju Bell which is in front of the temple was placed there by King Jaya Ranjit Malla in 1737.

Sadly the temple was completely destroyed in the April 25th earthquake in Nepal. It is currently being restored (2017). Several smaller monuments have been rebuilt near it.

The Vatsala Durga Temple is made from sandstone and sits beside King Bhupatindra Malla's statue directly in front of the Royal Palace of 55 Windows. Though sandstone its appearence is more of limestone.

The Taleju Bell was placed there to mark morning and evening prayers at the Taleju Temple and is undamaged.

There are several restaurants behind the temple which make for great viewing areas over Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Did you know?

There is a second smaller bell on the temple's plinth which is known as 'the barking bell'. It was placed there by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1721 to counteract a dream he had. It is said that dogs bark and whine if the bell is rung.


Vatsala Durga Temple being rebuilt  2017-2020

In 2017 reconstruction work began on the iconic stone temple. Work is estimated to take up to three years to be complete.

Vatsala Durbar Temple being reconstucted

All the masonry work is being done via traditional building methods. Currently there is a donation list for those wishing to donate directly to the reconstruction of this time. All funds donated are transparent and receipts are given.

You can read more about donating to and restoring the Vatsala temple here. This is one of the only buildings with cultural heritage to independently source funding. It's a huge objective considering the difficulties other buildings have had.

In 2020 the temples reconstuction remained on shedule and it is due for completion by the end of the year.

All other smaller temples have been restored in Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Work now moves to the nearby older palaces and temples adjacent to the square.

Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell highlights

Vatsala Durga Temple with the Taleju Bell in Bhaktapur
Vatsala Durga Temple with the Taleju Bell in Bhaktapur

Interestingly the Vatsala Durga temple is built in a North Indian shikhara-style which is quite different compared to others in the square.

You could climb up the steps of the Vatsala Durga temple and watch the sun set over the square.

You could also climb up onto the Taleju Bell platform via the Vatsala Durga temple however that is no longer possible.

Ringing the bell is permitted though but be respectful. One gong should be enough!

You can read more on this list of temples destroyed in Nepal. This page will be updated when restoration is complete.

Entrance fees

There is no fee for the Vatsala Durga Temple or Taleju as it's covered under the ticket price for Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

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