The Guardian deity of Pokhara
Located in the lake city of Pokhara, one of the major tourist hubs in Nepal, the temple of Bindabasini is holds special significance in the life of people here. Also considered as the ‘guardian diety’ of Pokhara, the Hindu devotees, not only from Nepal but all over the world come to worship the goddess here.
It is situated at the northwest of Pokhara at some distance from the Pokhara-Baglund highway at Mohariya tole and New Bus Park. The temple proudly stands at the height of 3000 ft above the sea level and from its premises, magnificent views of some of the beautiful mountains could be seen at one side while the other is adorned with beautigul green mango trees with a picturesque view of Pokhara city at the background. The temple that has two entrances from East and North is believed to be the oldest temple of Hindu religion around this western regional area of Nepal. It is said that the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled by the goddess. The temple, although being a Hindu pilgrimage site, allows entrance to people of other religion, too, one reason for being crowded by visitors everyday.
The goddess appears in the form of Saligram, a propitious stone in the Hindu mythology, in the temple and is a form of Bhagwati. According to the legends, the stone image of the goddess was being brought from India to the Kingdom of Mustang, a very mysterious Kingdom on the north of the Annapurna massif. The carriers had rested here in the Bindhyachal hill of Pokhara to ward off the tiredness of walking a long distance and when they got up to leave, the image could not be lifted from the ground. It is also said that the temple was created in 1845 BS, after the goddess ordered King Khadag Bum Malla to set up her statue here, in his dream.
The goddess has always been worshiped since the establishment of the temple and on Saturdays and Tuesdays, animal sacrifices are performed. There are various other statues and temples of other gods and goddesses like Lord Shiva, Hanuman, Ganesh, Radha Krishna and other two gods and goddess whose names seem to be unknown.
Inside the Lord Shiva temple in Bindabasini, a Shiva linga is enshrined which is believed to be Maha Mritunjaya Shiva and inside the same temple lays the statues of the Lords who are considered to be Asta–chiranjibi like Hanuman, Parshuram, etc., the immortals who are still believed to be living in the planet earth. There are two main priests called Guru Preceptor and eighteen co-priests calle hara-har who handles all the works of the temple. People often come here to perform Asta Chiranjibi puja for the long life of their own or their beloved ones. The temple is crowded mostly during the festivals of Dashain, Chaite Dashain and Teej. It is also one of the many Shakti Peethas in Nepal which is known popularly for fulfillment of the wishes of the devotees.
The guardian deity of not only protects Pokhara and its people but also all her devotees living around the world.