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Guide to the Golden Temple

Nepal's very own temple made of "gold"
Updated: April 27th 2018 | Nepal travel guides

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about - entrance fee - directions
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About the Golden Temple

Located in north Patan the Golden temple (Kwa Bahal) is perhaps the second most popular attraction here after Patan Durbar Square.

The temple was built in 1409 and is in fact a Newari Buddhist monastery. The nickname "golden temple" came about through tourism more than it actually being made of pure gold. Most of the temple is actually polished gilt copper which gives it a fantastic golden shine.

Did you know?

At the main entrance there was once a duel fought between a Brahman and Vajracharya Buddhist priest. The Vajracharya priest won when his wife threw here sari over the Brahmans head which led to the priest decapitating him. It’s said the severed head is still used in ceremonies today!

Inside the main courtyard there are probably enough artifacts to keep most historians happy for a full day. Do keep note that leather items are not permitted inside.

Inside the Golden temple in Patan

At the entrance way are two large brass guardian elephants and riders. Directly in front is a lavish shrine with a silver and golden chaitya. While you can’t photograph inside the shrine you may photo around the interior of the courtyard.

Going clockwise around the central shrine you'll see newly added (1918) brass monkeys holding out jack fruits as offerings. Behind them are large bronze Bodhisattvas. Three are Padmapani Lokeshwar and the fourth is Manjushree.

The main shrine (directly behind the smaller one) contains a statue of Sakyamuni and a Buddha image which again should not be photographed without permission. The temple is dedicated to Guatama Buddha.

It's honestly worth moving closer to many of the artifacts found inside the courtyard as many are highly detailed. It's also quite rare to get this close without being inside a museum!

2018 renovation work

There was renovation work on the Golden Temple in 2017 with the courtyard remaining open. The same is happening in 2018 though it won't disturb visitors.

The temple itself suffered a little damage in the 2015 earthquake however the courtyard and exterior is accessible and you'd barely notice a difference!

Inside the Golden temple monastery

Let's not forget the "golden temple" is actually Kwa Bahal a Newari Buddhist Monastery. If you are facing the two golden elephants look to your right and you'll see a small door.

Enter inside and climb up the stairs to visit the monastery. It's really just a small room with practicing monks. Permission is also required to enter but there's rarely anyone around to ask.

My advice: be as quiet as possible and restrain from taking photos inside.

Entrance fee for the Golden Temple

This temple is not included in the Patan Durbar square ticket price as it's outside the square. The current fee for foreigners is 50 rupees.

Map of the Golden Temple & Patan

Use this map of Patan for to locate the Golden Temple and other highlights in Patan. For a better map download my full travel guide to Patan

The Golden Temple is located at a junction in north Patan just a short distance from Durbar Square. There are two entrances. One to the side and another to the rear.

See my travel guide below for full walking directions.

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The Golden Temple

The Golden Temple in Patan, Nepal
Click photo to see a larger photograph of the Golden Temple!
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Full guide:
» Guide to Patan    
Central Patan
  - Patan Durbar Square
 South Patan
  - Mahaboudha Temple
  - Uku Bahal
  - Machchhendranath temple
North Patan
  - The Golden Temple
  - Kumbeshwar Temple Complex
West Patan
  - The Kumari Living Goddess
East Patan
  - The Balkumari Temple

Make the most out of your journey:
» Get my full guidebook to Patan!


Full guide:
» Guide to Bhaktapur City
Inside Bhaktapur city:  
» Guide to Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  - Erotic Elephants Temple (Shiva Parvati)
  - Basantapur Chowk (Sculptures)
  - National Art Gallery / Museum
  - The Golden Gate (Sundhoka)
  - Taleju Temple (Mul Chowk)
  - Naga Pokhari 
55 Window Palace
  - Siddhi Lakshmi
  - Stone Lions
  - Pashupatinath Temple (Bhaktapur)
  - Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell
  - Chyasalin Mandap
Near Durbar Square
» Taumadhi Square
» Pottery Square
» Dattatreya Square
Just outside Bhaktapur
» Kailashnath Mahadev (Tallest Shiva statue)
» Nagarkot

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» Get my full guidebook to Bhaktapur!

Bardia National Park

Elephants inside the Golden Temple

Elephants inside the Golden temple, Patan

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