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Budhanilikantha is situated some 9 km north of Kathmandu's center. Revered as an emination of Avalokikiteshwara by Newar Buddhists, and by Hinduists as Narayana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu lying on a bed of naga spirits or snakes on the foot of Shivapuri Hills.

The stone sculpture was fashioned by King Vishnugupta in the 7th century. In his four hands the deity holds the four attributes: a discus (symbol of the mind) a mace (primeval knowledge), a conch shell (the five elements), and a lotus seed (symbolizing the universe). A priest washes the face of the deity every morning. Since the time of King Pratap Malla in the 17th century, who dreamt that his successors would die if they were visit the statue, no Nepali king has ventured into its presence. The Budhanilikantha festival in November celebrates the deity waking from his monsoon repose.

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Budhanilikantha Photos
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