Changu: best place to explore mixed culture in one society

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Changu or the Changu Narayan, whatever you call it, it expresses the same. It’s like, calling the same person by the different names. But, most people prefer to call it Changu rather than adding Narayan to it. Besides that, it is also called Dolagiri.

Well, amongst all the golden places of Bhaktapur, this place surely comes in the first place. Of course, after the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Cause, these two places are very famous in this vicinity. Both of them are enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 A.D.

Changu somehow is fairly unique from any other place of Bhaktapur. It holds an antique architecture in the name of Changu Narayan Temple. Similarly, the surroundings, it is simply the perfect closure of nature.

With that, it has both a modern and ancient living culture. It is a developed destination but at the same time, it is remote too. It unquestionably is a complex composition. That is of ancient, modern, and natural scenarios.

The religious aspect of Changu

The presence of the evidence counts the Changu Narayan Temple, as the oldest temple in Nepal. That summarily has a unique architecture and religious belief.

Mostly, the Hindu people from different places visit this place, time and again. They do their visit chiefly in  Haribodhini Ekadashi, Naag Panchami, Janai Purnima, Mahashanan, Jugadi Navami, and alike festivals. Besides that, the local people conduct their daily pujas, over there.

The legends

In Nepal, if there is a very popular religious place and has no myths about it, then you must know that you are missing erudition. Yes, it is obvious in Nepal. That every religious pilgrim has its individual stories. And, here the Changu Narayan also has its one.

This is where the story begins…

According to which, once a brahmin named Sudarshan traded out his cow to a gwala. Here, gwala means the cow herder. When the gwala bought her, he felt so happy. Formerly, he started to take her to the champak forest for grazing. Because of the good availability of green grasses and plants.

He had a thought as if he fed her good grasses,  and she’ll honor him with a good amount of milk. But, that thing anonymously never happens to him. He continued grazing her in the forest. But, the result, wasn’t satisfying for him. He got a tiny portion of milk, as usual.

He was so disappointed this time, thus decided to call Brahmin Sudarshan. As soon as the gwala call him, Sudarshan gave his attendance at the gwala’s place. Then the gwala describes all his problems to the brahmin. Considering the words of gwala, both of them decide to go and check out for the activities of the cow.

As per the planning, they followed the cow while grazing. Surprisingly, they saw a very unnatural incident. From an old champak tree, a black shaded boy egress and drank the milk from the cow.

The reason behind the incident

After observing all these things, there were sure that the boy is no human. Perhaps they think he could be the devil. That’s why they decided to cut down that tree from where he egress and did so. But, the tree starts to bleed as they cut it.

That incident made them so anxious that they started to cry aloud and asked for forgiveness. In the meantime, the Lord Vishnu or the Narayan appeared in front of them and explained everything about these incidents.

He explained that he was cursed when he accidentally murdered the Sudarshan’s father during his hunt. He was tugged over there since then. And, forthwith was freed from all his sins, because of them.

Subsequently, hearing all these things, they finally got some relief in their faces. Afterward, they established a small temple in that arena and worshipped it as the Changu Narayan temple. Where the descendants of Sudarshan brahmin continues became the priest and descendants of the gwala continues to be guthiyars.

Things to do in Changu

As we now, know that Changu is such a complex composition of nature, culture, and modern lifestyle. Your choice of being there could make you do so many things like:


Hiking is the best thing that Changu can offer after religious realization, of course. A one-day short hike, that you can start from Nagarkot or the Bhaktapur Durbar area. You can also choose to continue your hike to Nagarkot via telkot if you start your hike from the Nagar. The rural-urban, mixing villages, terraced fields, and the jungles always welcome you in your hike. Beside the flanking breeze.

PC: Cheryl Marland


Another thing that you could prepare in Changu is cycling. There are so many turns and twists in the way of Changu road. Just like the action of the snake’s motility. Hence, anyone with an adjoining adventure nature would love this trail.

Dwelling with foods

Changu is a sweetheart when it comes to taste the typical newari food in the valley. People from possible places go there to have one gratifying lunch. Plus, they perceive the taste of local wine too while relishing the local food. There is also a Gurung village annexing the newar society.

Thus, you could have a diverse taste willingly than the newa item.


The Changu Narayan temple is the main allure of the place. Alongside that, there are several places where one can do sightseeing. The courtyard of the Changu Narayan Temple, museums on the way to the temple, and the forest.  They are the best means to explore the place.

  • The Changu museum is the first private museum of Nepal. It has a large collection of coins, kitchen materials, and other livelihood stuff of Lichhavi periods. You need to pay an entrance fee to enter the museum.
  • The name of the changu forest is the Champak tree forest. It is believed that the name of the place was derived from this forest, Champak.
  • There is a street plus steps in between the row of houses, on the way to the temple. And, there you can find the souvenir shops on every staple.

PC: rockaroundtheglobe

How to get there?

Indeed Changu is a hill capped place. So, if you think of a hike, you must walk for 2 to 3 hours from Bhaktapur Durbar Square. And, if you choose to be there without any physical effort, then you can choose to go by bus. There is direct bus access from Kathmandu (Bagbazaar) to Changu.

Or, you can book vehicles as per your choice. It is only 7 miles far from Kathmandu city. But, you must step steps to reach the temple, once you reach the bus stop of Changu.



No, it doesn’t. It lies at Changunarayan which is a northern hill station of Bhaktapur. That also consists of the oldest temple of Nepal, Changu Narayan Temple.

You could choose a local bus or hire a private vehicle to reach over there.

You can catch a local bus from Ratna Park or from Bagbazaar if you are staying at Thamel, which directly goes to Bhaktapur and Changunarayan too. But you need to walk a little bit to reach the premises of Changu Narayan Temple.

The entrance fee to enter Bhaktapur along with the Bhaktapur Durbar Square varies as per the nationality. It costs, Rs.1500 for Non-SAARC nationality, Rs.500 to SAARC, and for Chinese citizens, and free for the Nepalese.

No, you don’t need to pay for your infant. In fact, it is free entry to the children below 10 years of each national at Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Yes, you do. It costs Rs.350 for Non-SAARC Nationals and Chinese nationals. And, it costs Rs.250 for the SAARC nationals.

Yes, there are restaurants and cafes on-site, convenient for all kinds of visitors.

Yes, it is. Even a single woman could travel here alone.

No, not exactly. You can make your tickets available for one more day at the time you buy it if you are gonna stay at Bhaktapur Nagar. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about extra ticket expenses.

Well, there are a lot of things that you can do like shopping, sightseeing, eating different foods, also photography. But, capturing one corner of the square and having a sunset view would be the most satisfying thing that you would experience.

While being in Bhaktapur, you must mind few things like taking out of your shoes while entering the temple and other religious sites. Likewise, you might not be allowed to click pictures of some specific events or places. You should consider these things.

As we informed you earlier it is all safe for solo traveling which means you can travel without a guide. But we also recommend you to have a certified guide who would help you to understand the authentic Bhaktapur and the stories carved all over the monuments.


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  • Changu Narayan Municipality, Bhaktapur District, Nepal.

  • 27.716362, 85.427877
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