Wakupati Narayan Temple is a two-story pagoda temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, enclosed within a stone-paved courtyard. It is located at Suryamadhi, Bhaktapur. A few minutes of walk from Chyamasingha towards the west leads you to this temple.
This temple is also called Wakupati Changu Narayan temple. People who couldn’t go to Changunarayan for prayer choose to go to Wakupati Narayan temple. It is like a substitution of the Changu Narayan temple.
About the erection of this temple, it is said that the temple was built in 1667. However, there is one interesting story regarding the emergence of the Wakupati Narayan, the deity. As per the story, one devotee of Narayan who daily went to Changu Narayan had to stop going there because of the harvesting works.
He was too busy to visit the temple thus he remembers the Narayan, pray spiritually and go to work. One evening when he was returning back home with the sack of paddy, he found the image of Lord Vishnu in his sack. Since it was found within the sack of paddy, it was named Wakupati Narayan.
Here, Wakupati Narayan simply means the seen Vishnu while carrying the sack of paddy.
The temple by date seems more archaic than the Nyatapola temple and is in very good shape today. Despite some damage to neighbouring buildings, the ornate, golden temple survived the 2015 quake outlasting various distinct quakes.
Well, while you visit this temple, you would surely note the entourage of five Garudas supported on pillars on the backs of turtles. This is the only place where one would see five Garudas standing back to back in a row. However, the nearest one seems like a devotee rather than the Garuda as in the Dattatraya temple. You can clearly recognize the human face in it. But there are wings too to call him human as well.
Along with such mysterious creatures, there is an ancient stone tap inside the courtyard. Also, the stone scriptures of God and Goddesses. There is a statue of Lord Ganesha on the right side of the temple. Similarly, there is the image of Dasavatar of Lord Vishnu right behind the temple. You can have a guess recognising each of them while existing from that narrow space of the temple.
Nearby, there is a stone image of Goddess Saraswoti. There is even a temple of Chinna Masta, one among the Das Mahavidhyas on the southern arena of the main shrine.
A huge mass of people visits the temple at Ekadashi. Although, people stay up during the Nitya Puja as well. Each day, in the morn and on the eve, the Pujari of the temple performs daily worship. And to witness that, the nearby people especially the senior citizens gather over there.
Just within a while, you could see the gang of these older people on the premises of this temple who tend to laugh and gossiping in the patis (resthouse) of Suryamadhi, a minute before. They reach over there in such a perfect time as if it’s their daily routine to be there.
And of course, perceiving those glimpse of old people who shares a sort of stories with each other, including strangers like us really brings a smile to your face. Thus, It would be great if you could reach there in the evening, around 6 pm.
Also, there is a belief among the local denizens that if people sit in the courtyard while visiting the temple, the back pain is cured. It is like the blessing of God. So the people of Bhaktapur, still sit there at least once while visiting the temple, even if they are in a super hurry.
Wait, there is more to explore on the premises of this temple. Among several patis and minor temples from the premises, the pati from the end of the east corner consists of more exaggerating wooden artworks. It looks like leaving unavoidable crafting is a sign of the then Nepalese architecture.
This, Wakupati Narayan temple is located in Suryamadi, Bhaktapur. While you take a walk from Dattatraya Square toward the east, you would find a classic door on your right side just before reaching the Suryamadi Chowk. Hence, that classic door leads you to the courtyard of the temple.
This temple is unique because of the belief that a little rest in this place could cure back pain. Also, there is more than one image of Garuda on the premises of this temple which is quite rare to witness in the entire valley.
Well, it is opened on the daily basis for Nitya puja once in the morning and then in the evening.
You can take pictures of the surroundings however, there is a strict prohibition on taking pictures of the sanctum’s deity.
The Wakupati is a newari word which means the Lord Vishnu spotted during the carrying of the paddy sack.
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Suryamadi, Chyamasingha, Bhaktapur.