Manakamana Temple is situated in Gorkha district of Nepal. It is a temple of a Hindu Goddess Bhagwati. The name Manakamana is composed of two words, Mana means ‘heart’ and Kamana means ‘wishes’. It is believed that the Goddess fulfills the wishes of those who make pilgrimage to her shrine. This temple is located on a hill which itself is 1300 meters high above the sea level and one can see the river valley of Trisuli easily from this temple. The enchanting views of Manaslu and Annapurna ranges can also be seen easily to the north of the temple. The Manakamana Temple is almost 105 km away from Kathmandu and 90 km east from Pokhara.
Reaching the Temple
To reach Manakamana, there is a bus service from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. You can get off at Kurintar and take a cable car ride to the temple (best option) or at Aabu Khaireni and hike for three hours up the hill to Manakamana Temple.
It is believed that in the 17th century, in the reign of the Gorkha King Ram shah, his wife used to have some divine qualities and some magical powers. This was known to her devotee Lakhan Thapa only. The king was not aware of it. One day he mistakenly saw his wife in the form of a Goddess and her devotee in the form of a lion. Soon after knowing this fact the king died and his wife, the queen, was made satti (burned alive with her husband). Although her devotee Lakhan Thapa tried to stop this act but it was the custom of that time so she stopped him from doing and assured him that she will reappear in the near future. After six months, the farmer while plowing the fields discovered a stone from which blood and milk were dripping out. Lakhan Thapa came to know that it is a sign from queen and at the same sight he built a temple in her honor which is now known as Manakamana Temple, where millions of people go to make their wishes fulfilled by the Goddess.
The Temple, as it looks
People worship Goddess Bhagwati with the offerings like flowers, scents, red colored cloth, cosmetics, etc. There are a great number of devotees on special festivals and occasions or events. The line of people starts from the gate of the temple. People without having any food or water stand along with their animal, either goat, pigeon or cock and wait for even 5-10 hours, to sacrifice the animal for their Goddess. As the Hindus believe that the universe is composed of five vital elements, earth, water, air, fire, and ether, so the puja thaal or the platter of puja is made on such material. The puja samagri or material should not miss any or some of the certain materials from a particular list which include abir (vermillion), kesar (pure saffron extract), flowers and leaves, dhup (incense), diyo (oil lamp), bastra (cloth, usually in red), fruits and foods such as coconut, bel, betel nut and jannai (sacred thread), anna, grain (rice). At least one thing or material among these should be included in puja samagri.