The Nyatapola temple is the tallest building in the Bhaktapur, unique with its 5 roofs, and certainly one of Nepal’s most stupendous monuments, lying in the south face of the square which is named after its physical structure (five tiers of roofs). This is also one of the best examples of Newari temple architecture .The temple was founded in 1702 A.D by King Bhupatindra Malla, a great builder who commissioned an impressive number of structures and its design was so elegant and its construction was so well done that even the earthquake of 1934 A.D caused only upper storey damage.
The temple stands above the 5-Stage plinth and rises over 30m above the top plinth. The steep stairway leading up to the temple is flanked by guardian figures at each plinth level. The bottom plinth has the 2 high stone statues of the legendary wrestlers Jaya Malla and Patha Malla who also feature in the Dattatraya temple, said to have possessed the strength of 10 men, on the plinth above are two powerful elephants, then a pair of fierce stone lions. Above the lion are two griffins and at the very top are two goddess i.e. Baghini in the form of a tiger and Singhini in form of a lion. People believe that each figure is said to be ten times as strong as the figure on level below. There is a circumambulatory passage around the main entrance of the temple at the top of the steps and the roofs are supported with beautifully carved struts. The series culminates in the powerful tantric goddess hidden inside the temple, is the mysterious tantric goddess Siddhi Laxmi to whom the temple is dedicated. A special family of priests tends the temple, which may be entered only by the king. It is said that the goddess representing the most powerful female force. This powerful goddess is counterbalanced, ritually and aesthetically, with Kasi Biswanath on the eastern side of the square.
At each corner of the lowest plinth is a Ganesh shrine. As we all know that Ganesh is the god of prosperity and wisdom. Ganesh is a much- loved god and there is a constant stream of visitors here. A visit to this shrine is highly recommended by Hindus to ensure safety on a forthcoming journey as well as while starting any new work. And defender and remover of obstacles and has to be propitiate first before worship to other gods. His mount is the shrew.
At the eastern side of the square lies the huge rectangular shape temple erected is dedicated to Bhairab –the ferocious from of lord Shiva, originally built as a one storey temple in the early 17th century by Jagajjyotr Malla but later rebuilt with two storey temple by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1717.
Bhairab- the central image of the temple is a two faced image without its body can be seen in the 1st floor. According to the legend, Vishwa Nath is another name given to Shiva in the holy city Kashi (Banaras) once visited Bhaktapur to observe the Bisket Jatra. After having been recognizes, he was beheaded to make him stay for ever in bhaktapur and kept in the temple. Hence, the temple is also known as Kashi Vishwa Nath. Fantastically glided, it houses a once unruly Bhairab who reportedly calmed down after the Nyatapola goddess was brought in to offset him. During the annual festival of Bisket, all the same image are brought out, placed on a chariot and conveyed around the city. A tiny image of Bhairab at the front wall of the ground floor is regarded as Nasa Deo (worshipped for skill development) which is worshipped by passers by at all times. Another image of Bhairab also known as Akash Bhairab can be seen painted on a straw and hung against the wall. The actual entrance is behind the small BETAL TEMPLE, a hobgoblin who accompanies Bhairab on his annual chariot ride, in the form of a metal mask on the prow. Betal is worshipped for half an hour a year as part of the Bisket Jatra and rest of the time he is tied, face down, to the topmost roof beams of his temple. The temple is guarded by two brass lions and there’s a host of interesting details on the front.
Next to the Bhairab Nath entrance, is Lu hiti which means “golden tap” one of the water conduits which is used for household chores as well as for some ritual works.
It is hidden away behind the recent houses on the South east of the square; so one can easily miss the square’s 3rd interesting temple, Til Mahadev Narayan displays all the iconography of a lord Vishnu temple: a glided Sankha (conch), charka (wheel) and Garuda are all hoisted on pillars out front in a manner clearly imitating the great temple of Changu Narayan. Although the place was in use since 1080A.D.The icon were believed to be placed inside the temple only in 1170 A.D.
The open courtyard of the temple is used for the sacred ceremony of Ihi-a ritual of young Newari girls being wedded to lord Vishnu.
Narshimha or Narsingh is half man and half lion. Narsingh statues often show a man with a lion’s head and four arms holding the traditional Vishnu symbols. In the man- lion’s lap will be the demon which Narsingh is about to disembowel. The double roofed Narshimha temple is near to Til Mahadav Narayan temple.
The Kumari Devi is a young girl who lives in the building known as the Kumari Deo chhen. The cult of the Kumari –a prepubescent girl worshipped as a living incarnation of Durga, the demon-slaying Hindu mother goddess-probably goes back to the early middle ages.
The Kumari Bahal (House of the living Goddess), its door guarded by stone lions. The guilded cage of the Raj Kumari, Bhaktapur’s “living Goddess” and the pre-eminent of 11 such goddesses in the valley. Not only does Nepal have countless gods, goddesss,deities,Bodhisattvas, avatars(incarnations of deities living on earth)and manifestations, which are worshipped and revered a s statues, images, paintings and symbols, the country also has a real living goddess