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Guide to the Taleju Temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square

Durbar Squares grandest temple, which is off limits
David Ways | Updated: | Nepal travel guides

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The largest temple in durbar square
about - highlights - entrance fees
- directions
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About the Taleju Temple


Kathmandu Durbar Squares largest and most important temple sits behind a large walled enclosure in the northern section. The three-storey temple sits on top of twelth brick plinths or pflatforms which towers over the area.

The temple itself is behind a locked gate which is only opened up for one day every year during the dashain festival (ninth day). All visitors inbetween can only gaze upon it from outside the walls.

The temple suffered some roof damage in the 2015 earthquake but has since been completely repaired.

Did you know?

A little known fact is that there are acutally three Taleju temples in Kathmandu. One in Bhaktapur Durbar Square and one in Patan Durbar square.

The Taleju goddess originally came from south India but was adopted by the Malla kings who built temples to her.

History of the Taleju Temple

The Taleju temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square is not the oldest! It is the most important but the oldest is the Taleju temple in Bhaktapur which was built in the 14th century. The Kathmandu Taleju temple was built in 1564 by King Mahendra Malla.

As you may know the Malla kings of the Kathmandu Valley had an artisic and physical rivalery so all three cities have a Taleju temple.

The goddess Taleju inside the Taleju The Taleju temple that you see today is mainly the result of additional work carried by King Pratap Mall who is known as the most artistic of all the Malla kings.

The Kathmandu Taleju temple temple was modeled on the shape of a yantra, a form of mandala or a mystical diagram with magical powers. This idea came from the Hindu Goddess Taleju Bhawani herself. When the temple was opened Taleju Bhawani made a special appearance, one of the few gods every to be noted for doing so. That aid the . Goddess Taleju showed up disguised as a bee!

It is forbidden for any building to be constucted that is taller than the Taleju building. A point that creates a lof contention in Kathmandu city today.

In 2015 the temple roof was slightly damaged in the earthquake. However repairs were carried out an completed in 2016 along with some renovation.

Visiting the Taleju Temple

The Taleju temple can only be visited once a year by Hindus on the ninth day of the Dashain festival. For everyone else you can only look at it from outside the walls and gates that surround it. If you do visit it on this day, do be warned that there are often animal sacrifices around the area then.

Inside there are 12 miniature versions of the temple that surround the main building. There are four more temples higher up just below the main temple. The four main decorative gates are guarded by stone lions.

Inside the main Taleju temple itself are golden statues depicting the ten-armed Goddess along with shrines to both Taleju Bhawani and the Kumari, Nepal’s Living Goddess.

The Hindu Goddess Taleju Bhawani was also the clan Goddess of the Malla kings who ruled Nepal from the 12th to the 18th century.

Entrance fee

There is no entrance fee to visit the Taleju temple as it comes under the general fee for Kathmandu Durbar Square.

Directions to the Taleju Temple

The Taleju Temple in Kathmandu is located on the northern part of Kathmandu Durbar Square near Hamuman Doka.

By walking: Kathmandu Durbar Square is an easy is 20 minute walk from Thamel. Do take care along the streets along the way as they are broken and often very busy. Motorbikes zoom around at speed.

By taxi: Unless you are staying far from Thamel taking a taxi durbar square can be slow and annoying. Prices will be above average for this route from Thamel 150-200rps. Better to tell them to drop you at New Road which borders the square 100-120rps.

Do a heritage walk on the way!

If you plan on walking to the Taleju temple or Kathmandu Durbar Square from Thamel then do consider a Kathmandu city heritage walk which will show you much of the beautiful old city along the way.

Looking for more things to do in Kathmandu?

Check out this list of things to do in Kathmandu and this full travel guide Kathmandu city.

Download my guidebook to Kathmandu city

Liked this page? You'll love my guidebook! It's a guidebook that's better than the rest. Yes, really! In it I cover all of Kathmandu's real and hidden attractions with well researched information, photographs and travel tested walking tours including old city heritage walks and Durbar Square.

It's an interactive & printable guidebook like no other.

Kathmandu city travel guidebook
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The tallest building in Kathamandu Durbar Square: the Taleju Temple

Taleju Temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square

Taleju Temple can only be viewed from outside the walls
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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

Like to know more?
» Get my full guidebook to Bhaktapur!

Bardia National Park

Full guide:
» Guide to Lumbini
» History of Lumbini
» Ashokan Pillar in Lumbini

Get the most out of your trip:
» Download my Guidebook to Lumbini!

The goddess Taleju inside the Taleju
The goddess Taleju inside the Taleju

A toran inside the Taleju temple showing the goddess Taleju
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