Nepali Kathwala Temple

Nepali (Kathwala) Temple
Vital Information for Visitors

Nepali (Kathwala) Temple, near Lalita Ghat, Lahori Tola, Varanasi, UP

Open & Close:

Open on all days – 24X7

4:00 AM - 12:00 PM

1:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Entry Fee:

No entry fee


30 minutes – 1 hr


Architecture & wooded sculptures

Varanasi, the oldest surviving city in the world, is among the seven holiest cities of the Hindu in India. Varanasi, one of the pilgrimages for the Hindu faithful, is considered to be the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is famous for the holy River Ganga, sacred temples and lively ghats. The evening Ganga Aarti on Dashashwamedh Ghat of Varanasi is world famous and attended & photographed by foreign tourists, devotees and pilgrims. Though Varanasi is home to many auspicious temples, but Khathwala Temple (Nepali Temple) has special significance due to religious value, unique architecture and great history. This temple was built by the King of Nepal, Rana Bahadur Shah in 19th century. Being built by king of Nepal in conventional Nepalese architectural style with imported wood, called Kath in Nepalese & Sanskrit languages), the temple is aptly called Nepali Temple as well. The wood of Nepal was called ‘Kath’, so, it is called Kathwala Temple as well. Another name of Nepali Temple is Shri Samrajeswar Pashupatinath Mahadev Mandir.

In addition to wood, terracotta and stone have also been employed. The artisans from Nepal constructed the whole temple. The wooden construction is mesmerizing and looks beyond beautiful. The temple is quite unique in its appearance. It does not resemble the temples of India because the architecture is completely of Nepalese style and very different. Though the devotees and pilgrims visit many holy and venerated temples of Varanasi but secular tourists, interested in observing different styles of temple architecture, make sure not to miss Nepali Temple. The Kathwala Temple attracts a sizeable number of visitors from across the globe for its beauty. Also, this is one of the oldest temples in Varanasi city. This temple is a replica of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.

The presiding deity of Kathwala Temple is Lord Shiva and, therefore, has immense religious significance and sacredness for the Hindu faithful. The construction of the temple took three decades to be completed due to many reasons. Nepalese king, Rana Bahadur Shah spent 4 years from 1800 AD to 1804 AD in Varanasi on his exile. He disguised his identity by changing his name as Swami Nirgunanda. During his exile in Varanasi, he decided to construct a temple in the city that would be a replica of the epic Pashupatinath Temple of Nepal. The construction of the temple started in during his stay in Banaras during exile period but was not completed. He moved back to Nepal after period of exile but was stabbed to death in 1806 AD by his step brother, Sher Bahadur Shah. The son of Rana Bahadur Shah completed the construction of Kathwala Temple after 20 years of the scheduled deadline. The land was transferred in the name of Rana Bahadur Shah in 1843 AD by Kashi Naresh (King of Varanasi). Even to present days, the temple and adjacent area, including Lalita Ghat and a ‘dharamshala’ belongs to the Nepal government.

The wood, used in construction of Kathwala Temple, is termite proof. The temple is surrounded by tamarind and ‘peepal’ trees from all over. The Pagoda style architecture of the temple is the beauty & highlight of Nepali Temple. The sculpture in the temple resembles in many ways with the sculptures of Western Group of Khajuraho temples. Owing to this, Kathwala Temple is also called as ‘Mini Khajuraho’. Lord Shiva here, in the form of Shiv Lingam, is called Pashupatinath. A traditional Sanskrit school on Vedic learning pattern is run here.

One hour is more than enough to explore Kathwala Temple of Varanasi. Though the entry for Indian and Nepalese nationals is free but foreign nationals are charged INR 15. The collected amount is utilized in upkeep of the temple and its campus. There are many other popular attractions near to visit and explore. Nepali Temple is located at Lalita Ghat in Varanasi. It is about 100 meters from Manikarnika Ghat and approx 3.8 km from Varanasi junction railway station.

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