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Guide to the Machchhendranath temple

Temple to a rain god ...
Updated: February 7th 2018 | Nepal travel guides

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about - entrance fee - directions
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About the Machchhendranath temple

Located in to the south of Patan Durbar Square the Machchhendranath temple (Machchendranath) is dedicated to a rain god of the same name. Interestingly this rain god may also have been a real person.

A historic Tibetan manuscript tells of a man who fled the Turkish and Afghan invasions in North India around 1000 AD.

Bungmati, over 2,500 years old, seven kilometers south of Patan is named after a prehistoric god of rain. Machchhendranath is said to have arrived in Kathmandu as a Buddhist monk who had a very strong following.

Did you know?

The temple courtyards precious artifacts all have iron fences to prevent any theft.

There's usually a caretaker inside or around the temple itself.

It's easy to walk by the entrance way to this temple. Watch out for the whitewashed gateway!

History of the Machchhendranath temple

At one time Gorakhnath (yogi trained by Machchhendranath) tricked nine chief Naags into a well. The naags are serpents that bring rain to the valleys. Thus a drought shortly followed.

The king asked Machchhendranath for help. By now Machchhendranath was reincarnated into a small boy who’s mother would not let him go. With persuasion Machchhendranath moved into a bee and was placed into a water container. When Machchhendranath reached the well Gorakhnath rose up from the well to greet his teacher.

As he did so the naags escaped and the drought ended. Machchhendranath agreed to stay in the valley for half a year in this temple.

Inside the Machchhendranath temple courtyard

One of the highlights of the temple are its intricate roof carvings that depict tortured people in a form of hell. Many say this is to show that the god can rescue people from such a fate.

While not going inside the temple you can get an excellent view of Machchhendranath himself from the steps outside. One of the few temples in the valley that affords you the privilege.

The outer courtyard is surrounded by a blue fence which is locked at night to prevent theft. Inside the courtyard you will also notice unusual iron cages surrounding many of the artifacts. Primitive protection they might be. But, they do the job!

Renovation on the temple

There is a small bahal (monastery) to the rear of the Machchhendranath temple that was renovated in 2016. The Machchhendranath temple itself was largely undamaged in the 2015 earthquake. However small maintenance does occur here on occasion though rarely will if effect a visit.

Entrance fee for the Machchhendranath temple

There is currently no entrance fee to visit the temple or its compound.

Map of Machchhendranath temple & Patan

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

Machchhendranath temple is located at the end of a main street in south Patan.

Exit Durbar Square and take a right at Ticchu Galli. Continue to the end of the street and take a left. Walk about 500 feet until you see the whitewashed gate arch to the temple on your left. See my guide below for detailed directions.

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The Machchhendranath temple

Machchhendranath temple, Patan, Nepal
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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

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» Get my full guidebook to Patan!


Full guide:
» Guide to Bhaktapur
Durbar Square
» 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 Pokari 
55 Window Palace
  - Siddhi Lakshmi
  - Stone Lions
  - Pashupatinath Temple (Bhaktapur)
  - Vatsala Durga Temple & Taleju Bell
  - Chyasalin Mandap
Near Durbar Square
» Taumadhi Square
» Dattatraya Square
Just outside Bhaktapur
» Kailashnath Mahadev (Tallest Shiva statue)
» Nagarkot

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Bardia National Park

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

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» Download my Guidebook to Lumbini!


Front of the Machchhendranath temple

Entrance to Uku Bahal

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