Budhanilkantha is a place located over 9 kilometres north of the centre of Kathmandu city, Thamel. It is counted among one of the most sacred places in the whole of Kathmandu Valley. There is both historical and religious significance to this place.

Religiously, it is considered the Vishnu pilgrim where you can see an image of Vishnu in a sleeping position. He is resting in the bed of Shesh Naag. And, because of many legends related to him, people believe that it is not just a stone sculpture but has lived in it.

Budhanilkantha, on the other hand, actually symbolises Lord Shiva. According to legend the spring that feeds the pond in the Budanilkantha temple is connected to Gosaikunda which makes it have a direct connection to Lord Shiva.

Gosaikunda trek

Since the water pond on which the statue of Budhanilkantha is located has its source at Gosaikunda lake, the name is dedicated to Lord shiva even though the figure is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

As for Gosaikunda, in Hinduism, it is believed that Lord Shiva himself created the holy lake. He created the pond to fulfil his thrust while he was suffering from the poison he drank during Samundra Manthan. He began to worship Nilkantha, which means “blue-throated,” because he had blue his throat from holding the poison in it.

This is how the name of the Vishnu statue became Budhanilkantha. It is significant both historically and from a religious perspective. The statue of Budhanilkantha is the largest stone sculpture found in the entire nation. It’s about 5 metres in length.

In the courtyard of Budhanilkantha, you may also notice some Buddhist monks who have come for prayers. Buddhists do offer prayers here, despite the fact that the statue is not of the Buddha.