Mahabouddha Temple

To reach the Mahabouddha Temple, you must walk southeast from Durbar Sq along Hakha Tole, passing a series of small Vaishnavite and Shaivite temples. When you reach Sundhara Tole, with its temple and sunken hiti (water tank) with three brass water spouts, turn right and look for the tiny doorway leading to the temple.

As you step through, the temple suddenly looms above you, crammed into a tiny courtyard like a plant straining to get some sunlight. Built in the Indian shikhara style, the shrine takes its name from the hundreds of terracotta tiles that cover it, each bearing an image of the Buddha. The temple is loosely modelled on the Mahabouddha Temple at Bodhgaya in India, where the Buddha gained enlightenment.

The temple dates from 1585, but it was ruined by the 1934 earthquake and totally rebuilt. Unfortunately, without plans to work from, the builders ended up with a different-looking temple, and had enough bricks and tiles left over to construct a smaller shrine to Maya Devi, the Buddha’s mother, in the corner of the courtyard!

The surrounding lanes are full of shops selling high-quality Patan-style metal statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities, and these shops even spill into the square around the temple. The roof terrace of the shop at the back of the courtyard has a good view of the temple and there’s no undue pressure to buy.

(source: Lonely Planet)