In gods’ own abodes
Panauti is where we are headed to this month. Instead of the usual bike ride, you could take a bus that ply from Purano (Old) Bus Park. It will take you around an hour to reach Panauti. Since it has its own share of cold stores and eateries, you need not carry food along for this trip (if you are not a squeamish eater).
If you are going there on a bike, take a right after reaching Banepa from king Tribhuvan’s salik (statue) at the chowk.
At the Panauti bus stop, the best option would probably be to ask directions to the Panauti temple, as it is popularly called. It’s only about 10 minutes walk from the stop. It lies between houses and traditional lanes in a courtyard surrounded by brick walls.
Once you enter the courtyard, the amazing sight of the three-storeyed massive Indreshwor Mahadev welcomes you. Many other smaller temples and statues adorn this site. The other Mahadev temple is the Vishweshwor Mahadev temple. Besides this, you can also visit a number of Narayan temples including Shree Tola Narayan, Surya Narayan and Krishan Narayan.
Many shivalingas and statues of gods and goddesses besides the ones mentioned above give this place a unique flavour.
The stairs at the gate on the right hand side leads to yet another place which is full of temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses — Ram Sita Mandir, Krishna Radha Mandir and the interesting Pancha Mukhi Mahadev, among many others.
Across the Pungamati river, which is in a really bad condition, lies some temples. If you want to know more about these temples or Panauti itself, talk to the old folk sitting on the patis (porch). They are a treasurehouse of local knowledge.
And if you still feel adventurous and wish to go for a beautiful walk or ride, cross the bridge on your return journey and walk for about half-an-hour or more and watch natural beauty unfold itself with the plantation season going on and pleasing greenery to soothe your eyes.
Around half-an-hour’s ride by bike will get you to Khopasi, another place that you can explore for yourself.