10 Idols of gods and goddess, you might encounter frequently while you are in Nepal

10 Idols of gods and goddess, you might encounter frequently while you are in Nepal

Kathmandu is famously reputed to have more temples than houses, more idols than residents.

  1. Sun God

There are mainly two types of sun god idols found in Kathmandu. One in a sitting posture holding two Lotus flowers in both hands and another often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by horses, often seven in number which represent the seven color rays of the rainbow. The God is surrounded by eight heavenly “planets” (Navagraha) in the zodiac system of Hindu astrology. One of the notable factor of Sun God idols is boots on the foots. Myth says it was awarded by his father in law. As Sun God wife was facing problems with excess heat from God, her father designed special attire for Sun God. He removed all the other clothes off the body by cutting his own skin, but can’t bear the pain anymore. Hence, he was left with the boots.

Where to see perfect Sun God idol: Stone Tap, near Taumadi square, Bhaktapur


  1. Shiva Linga

Two types of Shiva Linga are frequently seen in Kathmandu valleys. Normal with no faces and with four faces facing all directions. The lingam is often represented within a lipped, disc-shaped platform called a yoni that symbolizes goddess Shakti; Lingayats wear a lingam inside a necklace, called Ishtalinga. The lingam of the Shaivism tradition is a short cylindrical pillar-like symbol of Shiva, made of stone, metal, gem, wood, clay or disposable material. The four faces of Shiva Linga are named after Tatspurush, Sadayojata, Baam dev, Aaghor and Ishana.

Where to see perfect Shiva Linga: Kumbeshwor Mahadev Temple, Patan


  1. Hanuman (Monkey God)

Hanuman is an anthropomorphic monkey god whose divinity represents the divine within the human and animal kingdoms. Hanuman is the son of the wind god Vayu, and a Langur monkey; thus he has a monkey face with an upright human-like body. Generally, Hanuman is standing and normally carries a golden gada or club, and may also have a golden crown on his head.

Where to see perfect Hanuman Idol: Outside National Art Musuem, Bhaktapur Durbar Square


  1. Nara Shimha

The word Narasimha consists of two words “nara” which means man, and “simha” which means lion. Together the term means “man-lion”, referring to a mixed creature (fourth Incarnation of Vishnu). Narasimha is always shown with a lion face with clawed fingers fused with a human body, four hands. The upper right hand holds a mace and the raised left a discus (chakra). The main pair of arms holds the evil asura Hirankakashipu as the two hands rip the entrails from the body.

Where to see perfect Nara Shimha Idol: Nasal Chowk, Kathmandu Durbar square


  1. Garud

The Garud is a legendary bird or bird-like creature , the vehicle mount (vahana) of the Hindu god Vishnu, a dharma-protector and Astasena in Buddhism, and the Yaksha of the Jain Tirthankara Shantinatha. He is eagle-like, typically with the wings slightly open as if ready and willing to fly wherever he needs to. He has an eagle-like nose, beak or legs, his eyes are open and big, his body is the color of emerald, his wings are golden-yellow. His palms are crossed with each other’s in a Namaste posture, with snake in his neck.

Where to see perfect Garud Idol: Right in front of Changu Narayan Temple, Bhaktapur


  1. Ganesh (Elephant God)

Ganesh is one of the most popular guardian deities worshipped in Nepal by Hindus and Buddhists alike. Large numbers of independent temples of Ganesh are found in Kathmandu valley. Ganesh rides on a mouse and is white in color. He has an elephant face. A snake forms his sacred thread. He is four armed. In the two right hands he carries a trisula and a laddu i.e. sweet ball and in the two left hands a parasu i.e. axe and a radish.

Where to see perfect Ganesh Idol: Gufachaur Ganesh, Tansen Palpa


  1. Bhairav

Bhairav (Mahakala Bhairava) is a Hindu Tantrik deity worshiped by Hindus. In Shaivism, he is a fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation. Bhairava is depicted as being ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets, and sacred thread (yajnopavita). He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones. Bhairava has a dog (Shvan) as his divine vahana(vehicle).

Where to see perfect Bhairav Idol: Kala Bhairav idol in Kathmandu durbar square


  1. Trivikram Vaman

Vaman(dwarf), is the fifth avatar of Hindu god Vishnu. Vamana iconography varies by region. Three icons are common, one shows his left foot raised above his knee, the second shows his foot above his navel, and the third shows it raised above the forehead. These icons respectively symbolize the three worlds – netherworld, earth and heaven – Vamana covered as Trivikrama.

Where to see perfect Vamaan Idol: One of the oldest iconography, near Gausala, Kathmandu


  1. Uma-Maheswor

Uma-Mahaeswor is one of the popular iconographical forms in Nepal and has received the devoted skills of artist from the days of ancient to medieval periods. Shiva and Uma seated in the yogic composure and attended upon by the entourage of the Nandi, Bhringi, Laxmi, Saraswoti, Ganesh, Kumar, Surya, Chandra and ganas of shivas.

Where to see perfect Uma-Maheswor Idol: Gairidhara near Kumbeshwor Temple, Patan


  1. Mahisamardini Durga

Durga, in the form of Mahisamardini is perhaps one of the earliest and most beautiful forms of Sakti, She is the main force of Saktism and her first and foremost function is to fight the demons that disturb the very stability of the cosmos. The war goddess Mahisamardini with multiple arms, holding the most powerful weapons of Gods in association with the demon king Mahisa and her mount lion greatly enriched the sculptural art tradition to such an extent that no other deity of Hindu Panthem, can surpass her in manifested form.

Where to see perfect Mahismardini Durga Idol: Outside National Art Musuem, Bhaktapur Durbar Square


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