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Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar)

Tour a magnificent Buddhist shrine that is adorned with elaborate gilded statues, wood carvings, prayer wheels and Tibetan frescoes.

Step inside the elegant Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (Golden Temple) to experience the peacefulness of a Buddhist sanctuary and to admire its wonderful artwork. See statues of revered deities, centuries-old frescoes and elaborate carvings while walking among worshippers. 

Hiranya Varna Mahavihar is believed to date back to the 12th century and was built by Buddhist ruler Vaskar Deva Varma.

Find the temple in one of Lalitpur’s ancient streets and enter via the eastern doorway, which is presided over by two lion statues. This takes you into a small open-air enclosure with another door that leads to the temple’s main courtyard. Before you go through this entrance, note the images of Buddhist and Hindu gods that decorate the doorway. Vaskar Deva Varma was born a Hindu and later became a devout Buddhist. 

Admire the temple’s three-tiered pagoda structure and gilded bronze façade, from which it gets its name. Look for elephant sculptures, shining Buddha figures and snake sculptures that hang from the upper part of the roof. Spin the many prayer wheels as you walk around the temple complex. Look inside the main shrine to see a statue of Siddhartha Gautama, who became Buddha and on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. 

Spread around the courtyard are further examples of religious artwork, including impressive icons of the goddess Arya Tara and a cape-wearing Bodhisattva Vajrasattva. Don’t miss the small stupa, fronted by monkey statues holding fruits. On the stupa’s upper-level are Tibetan-style murals and religious scriptures. 

Situated on a quiet side street of Lalitpur, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar is a 5-minute walk from Patan Durbar Square. If you are coming from Kathmandu, you can use the buses that travel between Ratna Park and the main gateway to Lalitpur. The journey time is about 30 minutes. 

The temple is open daily and there is an admission fee. Shoes and any leather items should be removed before entering the main courtyard and left in the provided storage space. Photography is prohibited in the main shrine, but allowed elsewhere in the temple. 


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Newa Chen ¥3,908
Newa Chen

Newa Chen

Kwalakhu Rd, Lalitpur, Central Development Region
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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    The Inn Patan ¥6,986
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    The Inn Patan

    Swotha, Lalitpur
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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      Hotel Timila ¥4,854
      Hotel Timila

      Hotel Timila

      Traditional Road Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur, Patan
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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        Lumbini Heritage Home ¥5,240
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        Lumbini Heritage Home

        Nagbahal-16, Patan, Lalitpur
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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          Hira Guest House ¥3,849
          Hira Guest House

          Hira Guest House

          Kwalkhu chowk, Dhalayacha 16, Lalitpur
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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            Hotel Patan House ¥5,188
            Hotel Patan House

            Hotel Patan House

            Kwalakhu Rd, Lalitpur, Central Development Region
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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              k2Homes ¥1,988
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              Kwalkhu Road, Kobhal, Patan, Lalitpur
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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                Goathchen Guest House ¥4,245
                Goathchen Guest House

                Goathchen Guest House

                18 Swotha Road, Lalitpur
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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