About Indra Chowk


Located between just after Jana Bahal and down from Ason Chowk is a larger square known as Indra Chowk.

Akash Bhairab Temple at Indra Chowk
Akash Bhairab Temple at Indra Chowk

The square itself is a junction linking to Basantapur (Durbar Square) and many other market streets.

The focal point of Indra Chowk is the large rectangular building known as Akash Bhairab Temple (Indra Mandir). It houses statues of both Bhairab and Indra.

At the junction itself leading to Jana Bahal are two smaller Shiva temples. The black stone Shiva temple is relatively unique as it's very similar to Krishna temples in design.

Indra Chowk has a host of local pashmina stalls dotted around it worth checking out. The prices are lower than Thamel but you better be prepared to bargain.

Did you know?

Every year during Indra Jatra (festival) a large statue of Indra is brought out in front of the temple and decorated with flowers for the upcoming parade. Read more about the Indra Jatra Festival in Kathmandu.


History of Indra Chowk


King Yalambar of the Kirat Dynasty (800 BCE) is said to be associated with this version of Bhairab (seen on the second floor) who is the god of tax. The temple itself is unusual due to this open second level

However the temple was constructed by Pratap Malla in the 17th century and also houses a version of Indra who comes out during Indra Jatra which is the celebration of spring as Indra is the god of rain.


Unique market streets around Indra Chowk


Indra Chowk is often thought of as one of the biggest market junctions in old Kathmandu. While Indra Chowk itself has a small market the chowk itself leads to much larger markets and sights around Kathmandu. Indeed it's well worth reading the book Kathmandu Valley Heritage Walks to truely explore this area..

Indra Statue at Indra Chowk
Indra Statue at Indra Chowk

Continuing south from Indra Chowk will bring you to gold and jewelry sellers in Kathmandu. While just a little further on is New Road which is popular for electronics.

To the north are two roads. One leading to Jana Bahal and on to Ason Chowk while the other pass through the old city to Itum Bahal.

To the west a street leads you directly to Kathmandu Durbar Square. While to the east various narrow market streets lead through old Kathmandu to Rani Pokhari.


Entrance fee


There is no fee to enter Indra Chowk or any of the surrounding temples.

Do be careful of traffic at this junction as it tends to be haphazard. Rush hour 4pm-7pm can grind everything to a halt.


Directions to Indra Chowk


From Ason Chowk or Jana Bahal head directly south towards Indra Chowk.Likewise from the north east exit/entrance to Kathmandu Durbar Square there's a street leading to Indra Chowk.

Map to Indra Chowk

 

Heritage walk guide:

» Kathmandu Heritage Walks (this page)
  - Thamel Heritage Walk
  - Thahiti Chowk
  - Ason Chowk
  - Jana Bahal / Seto Machchhendranath
  -
Indra Chowk (this page)
  - Kathmandu Durbar Square


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