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cultural heritage varanasi logo
Notable Temples of Varansi

Samarajeshvara Shiva Temple (Nepali Mandir)

Rana P.B. Singh

At the riverfront Lalita Ghat, a well-known wooden structured Nepali Temple (house D 1/67), in the pagoda style, represents an example of Pashupatinath temple at Kathmandu (Nepal). The temple was initiated by the Queen Maharani Rajyalakshmi of Nepal in 1841, and was completed in1843 by the patronage of King Rajendra Vikram Shah and the prince Surendra Vikram Shah. This is under the control of Guthi Institute, which maintains its repairing and conservation. The temple is on an octagonal platform, and a representative of tantric sculpture. Surrounding to the inner sanctum, there are four entrance gates corresponding to the four directions. In the inside exists the Narmadeshvara lingam ornamented by the serpents. In the northern wall is eighteen-handed image of Mahisasuramardini. All the gates are fully decorated with splendid carving flowering pitch around the divine images together with snakes and their hoods, rosary of human skulls—clearly indicating impact of tantrism.  In fact, the whole temple is predominated by the tantric influence, but it also spaced images of Vaishnava traditions like Surya, Vishnu, Ganesha, and goddess images like Vaishnavi, Varahi, Durga, Sarasvati (Brahmani), Maheshvari, Kaumari, and Indrani. Thus, altogether the temple represents an example of cultural and religious assimilation.


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