Monday, November 30, 2009

Mankamana Temple

Mankamana Temple
Manakamana is the name of a Hindu Goddess. It is believed that the Goddess fulfils the wishes of the people. The term ‘mana’ means the ‘heart’ or ‘soul’ and ‘kamana’ means the ‘wish’.
The most popular temple of Manakamana is in
Gorkha. The others are in various places like Tumlingtar. It is said that a King of Gorkha was blessed by the goddess to get victory over small kingdoms and make a big Gorkha. Manakamana of Tumlingtar is a popular place for a specific fair called Ekadashi. The temple was initially inaccessible and one had to ride on horseback for 2–3 days. Now it is easily accessible by Cable Car.

The queen of Ram Shah, the king of Gorkha born in 1614 AD, was a goddess known to only her devotee, Lakhan Thapa. One day the king saw his queen in the form of a goddess. He told about it to the queen and he died instantly, in 1636 AD. The queen committed Sati (commit cremation with the husband's pyre as per custom of that time). Lakhan Thapa lamented on her Sati.The queen consoled him to reappear again. Six months later, a farmer hit a stone while ploughing his field. Blood and milk came out from the stone. Lakhan Thapa came to know the news. He worshipped the place with 'tantric' rituals. The flow of blood and milk ceased. The site became the foundation of the present-day shrine- Manakamana Temple. Manakamana meaning wishes fulfilling goddess. The current pujari, Priest, is the 17th generation descendant of Lakhan Thapa.

The shrine is at an altitude of 1302 meter high at Gorkha. There is cable car service, the only cable car service in Nepal, from Kurintar to Manakamana, It is 10 minutes cable car ride from Kurintar to Manakamana. Kurintar is 95 km, 2 hours drive, from Kathmandu on the way to Pokhara. Kurintar is at an altitude of 258 meter high from sea level. When there was no cable car service people used to walk 3–4 hours all the way to Manakamana. Now it is easy and the place is famous for tourist destination. It is one day trip from Kathmandu.

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