Chonga Ganesh Temple and jungle of Sallaghari

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Sallaghari jungle, people perceive this place as a picnic spot while the native of Bhaktapur sees it as one of the important pilgrimages of Bhaktapur. Within that little dense jungle, there is a temple of Adi Ganesh that locally is worshipped as Chonga Ganesh temple.

It is said that when local women make ‘raksi’, the local homemade liqueur, they come and worship at this temple, offering Ganesh some of the local brews.

Also, this Chonga Ganesh temple is counted among those three Ganesh temples of Bhaktapur which create a magical triangle that forms an outer ring of a Mandala. Symbolically, it protects Bhaktapur. The centre of this mandala is said to be either the Taleju Temple in Durbar Square or the Tripursundari Temple located near Sukhudhwakha.

This fact is depicted in the Shri Yantra Mandala, a Newar painting from the 19th century. The painting is still safe on the first floor of the National Art Museum of Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

However, as already mentioned, the Chonga Ganesh temple premises is now more famous for picnics. Each Saturday, the place gets filled with people since it has a good space in between the woods of Salla. Because of those trees of Salla, this place is also called Sallaghari.

Sallaghari of Bhaktapur

Sallaghari of Bhaktapur
PC: Bidhan Rajkarnikar

Sallaghari and the Chonga Ganesh Temple is not far from Bhaktapur Durbar Square. If you want to go there, then you can simply take a bus from either Dudhpati (Shiddhapokhari) or Sano Byasi (Tourist Bus Park). It would approximately take 5 min to 10 min to reach there by bus, regarding from where you would take the bus.

Or, you could simply have a walk which would take around 20-25 min from Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The site lies in the western part of the Bhaktapur. It is further recognized as the linking point of three municipalities (Bhaktapur, Madhyapur Thimi and Suryabinayak).

(Note: This place is also famous for morning walks. So, if you happen to have a walk in the morning, don’t get surprised by the number of walkers.)

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