The Budhanilkantha temple
The Budhanilkantha temple is a Hindu god Vishnu’s shrine, located approximately ten kilometers from the centre of Kathmandu at the base of the Shivapuri hill. The enigmatic main statue of the temple, the stone carved image of god Budhanilkantha is the largest and most beautiful stone carving in all of Nepal.
The image has been carved from a single block of black basalt stone of unknown origin, the statue is 5 meters long and lies in a reclining position inside a recessed tank of water which represents the cosmic sea. It is the image of sleeping Vishnu on the twisting coils of the Cosmic serpent Shesha, the king of serpent deities known as Nagas and the servant of the Vishnu.
Although it is still not known when or where the statue was sculpted, it is safe to say that it originated before the seventh century as that was the time around when the shrine itself has been believed to be constructed.
Hundreds of Nepalese Hindus and Buddhists visit the Budhanilkantha temple and worship the preserver god. On the day of the Haribodhani Ekadashi, thousands of pilgrims come to this temple to pay respect to the God, as it is believed that this the day when the sleeping Vishnu wakes up from his long sleep.