Monday, May 29, 2017

Visit Manakamana Temple Gorkha Nepal

The Manakamana Temple (Nepali: मनकामना मन्दिर) situated in the Gorkha district of Nepal is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish. Venerated since the 17th century, it is believed that Goddess Manakamana grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her. 
Manakamana Temple 

The Manakamana temple lies 12 km south of the town Gorkha. The temple is located on a distinguished ridge 1,302 metres (4,272 ft) above sea level and overlooks the river valleys of Trisuli in the south and Marsyangdi in the west. The spectacular views of the Manaslu- Himachali and Annapurna ranges can be seen to the north of the temple. The temple is approximately a 140 kilometres (87 mi) from Kathmandu and can also be reached via bus east from Pokhara in around three to four hours.

Mythical foundation
The legend of Manakamana Goddess dates back to the reign of the Gorkha king Ram Shah during the 17th century. It is said that his queen possessed divine powers, which only her devotee Lakhan Thapa knew about. One day, the king witnessed his queen in Goddess incarnation, and Lakhan Thapa in the form of a lion. Upon mentioning the revelation to his queen, a mysterious death befell the king.
As per the custom of that time, the queen committed Sati (ritual immolation) on her husband’s funeral pyre. Before her sati the queen had assured Lakhan Thapa that she would reappear in the near future. Six months later, a farmer while ploughing his fields cleaved a stone. From the stone he saw a stream of blood and milk flow. When Lakhan heard an account of this event, he immediately started performing Hindu tantric rituals at the site where the stone had been discovered thus ceasing the flow of blood and milk. The site became the foundation of the present shrine. According to tradition, the priest at the temple must be a descendent of Lakhan Thapa

Reasons to visit Manakamana temple
There are many reasons to visit the Manakamana temple of Nepal. As we already described that Manakamana devi is also known as fulfilling wishes. So, the pilgrims from all parts of the country and of all ages visit this place. The newly married couples seeking consummation of their love, students wishing success in studies, politician Twishing to win elections, writers longing to gain name and fame and businessmen desiring to gain success in their business all go to worship this wish-fulfilling goddess.


How to reach Manakamana
Transportation to Manakamana : Bus takes three to four hours from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Generally micro buses and mini buses run to Kurintar. One can take bus in transit from east/west (Janakpur, Kakadbhitta, Biratnagar, Nepalgunj) to Kathmandu or Kathmandu to east/west. 

There was transportation to Abu Khaireni until the cable car was installed.  In earlier times, the only way to reach the Manakamana temple was by a long strenuous trek for about three hours. Now, there is a facility of a cable car from kurintar, just 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of Mugling to Manakamana. The cable car rides over the distance of 2.8 kilometres (1.7 mi) in 10 minutes more or less. 

The cable car usually operates during the daytime from 9 am to 5 pm and stops during lunch break from noon to half past one. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev inaugurated Manakamana cable car on November 24, 1998. The cable car system was imported from Austria and guarantees a hundred percent safety. It has features such as automatically operated generators in case of power failure and hydraulic emergency drive. The employees working at the cable car service are qualified and well trained for emergencies.  Once you arrive at the temple you can look down upon the Trisuli and Marsyangdi rivers and at a distance you’ll see the magnificent Manaslu, Himalchuli and Aannapurna mountains.

The bottom station of the cable car is placed at Kurintar (258 metres (846 ft)) and the top station is at
Mankamana (1,302 metres (4,272 ft)).[5] With 31 passenger cars and 3 cargo cars, the cable car can handle up to 600 persons per hour. The number of passengers per carrier is 6. The cable car requires a starting power of about 523 Kilowatt and continues further at a power of 420 Kilowatt. All passengers are insured up to Rs. 1,00,000. The tickets for the cable car are valid for seven days from the date of issue.

The rates for the cable car ride inclusive of all taxes are as follows:
CategoryOne-wayTwo-way
Normal (Nepali/Indian)NPR. 345.00NPR. 575.00
Child (Nepali/Indian)NPR. 210.00NPR. 350.00
StudentNPR. 260.00NPR. 430.00
ElderlyNPR. 260.00NPR. 430.00
DisabledNPR. 175.00NPR. 290.00
Foreigner (Other than Indians)USD 100.00USD 1220.00
Foreigner child (Other than Indians)USD 1000.00USD 15000.00
( rate may be vary according to current plans)
  • Each person is permitted to carry a 15 kg baggage. For excess baggage there is a charge of NPR. 1.00 per Kg.
  • Children up to the height of three feet may travel free of cost, while children charges apply to those with height above three feet.
  • The elder category is for those aged above 65 years.
  • The students and elders category applies to Nepalese citizens only. Proper identification must be provided for the same 





Worship and sacrifices
Manakamana is Hindu Goddess so she is worshiped with offerings of flower, sound, scent, dress, make-ups and colors. There is a tradition of sacrificing animals at the temple. Devotees stand in line for even for 5-10 hours during festivals. The line started from the temple gate reach longer than few kilometers sometimes. People can be seen standing in line with pooja samagri (worship materials) in hand and some of them carrying duck, cock or goat with them. People seem to enjoy standing in the line without food, some even with no water.

Pooja Samagri (worship and offering materials) for Manakamana Temple
As per hindu mythology all objects in this universe is consists of five cosmic elements the earth, water, fire, air and ether or space or sky. Therefore the arrangement of pooja samagri is done on the basis of these elements then it helps in balancing and regulating the activated five cosmic elements in the universe. The worshipper then gets the maximum benefit both manifest and unmanifest frequencies emitted from the god and goddess. 

Devi is worshiped with the same elements, and in Nepal there is a tradition to offer cloth (bastra) to god and goddess. Especially red is considered as saubhagya (long life in Nepal) so Devi is offered almost everything in Red color. 

The pooja thali should contain at least the following in a puja basket along with pancha patro,

1. Abir (kumkum) for saubhagyaManakamana Cable Car Entrance
2. Kesar represents earth
3. Flower and Leaves 
4. Dhup for Scent (Fragnace)
5. Diyo for light
6. Cloth (Bastra or Dress) and mirror
7. Fruit and Foods for Prasad (Coconut and sweet deserts)
8. Bell for sound
9. Betel nut and janai
10. Little amount of rice (anna, grain)


The priest takes the pooja material when devotee reaches near the Devi statue and he offers their pooja samagri to goddess and returns the same after offering her. People do Sankalpa (vow) and Bhakal (resolution) in the temple. The priest asks the devotees if they have any vow or resolution for which they are in the temple to offer. If they have any, the priest offers the pooja materials to Goddess in the name of Sankalpa and Bhakal of the devotee. People make resolution at the temple and when their wish is fulfilled they go to see the goodness Burga Bhavani, Manakamana Mata, again to offer their gratitude.

Where Stay and Eat
You will see many lodges and restaurants on your walk to the temple from the cable car stop at the other side. You can also opt to stay overnight in a hotel and return back on the other morning. There will be vendors on temporary stalls selling worship materials on the way to the sacred site. The four tiered temple has a shikhar and has a roof with brass plates. There is also a spot behind the temple where devotees sacrifice animals as per the hindu custom. Some photographers will also be present somewhere at the front looking for customers who want their image together with the temple. You will be in advantage if you bring in a camera.


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Reference links
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manakamana
http://www.weallnepali.com/about-nepal/historic-places/manakamanatemple 
http://www.imnepal.com/manakamana-temple/
http://kathmandutourism.blogspot.in/2013/02/manakamana-temple-history-and-manakamana-cable-car-price.html

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