Golden Temple in Patan: Travel Guide


The Golden Temple, officially known as Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (हिरण्यवर्ण महाविहार) or locally as Kwa Bahal (क्वबहा), is a prominent Buddhist monastery located in Patan, Nepal. The name translates to “Gold-colored Great Monastery” in English. This Temple known as its beautiful golden facade, intricate woodwork, and impressive architecture. The Golden Temple is indeed one of the most popular attractions in Patan, drawing visitors from all over the world. It stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region and offers a glimpse into Nepal’s vibrant history.

The Golden Temple, or Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, was built in 1409 in Patan, Nepal. It is indeed a Newari Buddhist monastery and is famous for its stunning architecture and artistic embellishments. Over the years, the term “Golden Temple” has become widely used, especially in the context of tourism, to describe this beautiful monastery. While the temple is not made of pure gold, shiny golden-colored metal plates create a visually striking effect, making it gleam in the sunlight. This feature renders it one of the most attractive and culturally significant landmarks in Patan.

Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, renowned as Kwa Baha in the Newa language, is believed to have been built under the patronage of King Bhaskar Varman during the 12th century. People have been visiting this temple for a very long time because it’s not just pretty on the outside, but also very peaceful inside. When you enter, you’ll see a courtyard with statues of elephants guarding the entrance. Inside the main temple, there’s a lovely statue of the Buddha, which is a very important figure in Buddhism. There are also other smaller shrines with different statues and artworks dedicated to Buddhist deities.

One of the unique aspects of the temple is its young guardian, a tradition passed down through generations. A young boy, under the age of 12, takes on the role of the main priest, adding to the temple’s mystique. Visiting the Golden Temple isn’t just a sightseeing experience; it’s a journey into the heart of Nepal’s heritage. It’s a must-see if you ever find yourself in Patan, Nepal.

Cultural and Spiritual Center

The Golden Temple serves as a significant religious and cultural center in Patan. It is a place of worship, meditation, and learning for Buddhists. The temple complex includes a main courtyard with statues of Buddhist deities, prayer wheels, and prayer flags. The atmosphere inside the temple is serene and spiritually uplifting.

Visitor Information: Visitors are welcome to explore the Temple complex. However, there are certain guidelines to follow, such as removing leather items before entering and maintaining a respectful demeanor inside the premises. There is a nominal entry fee for international tourists and SAARC visitors.

Entrance Fee for Golden Temple: 

Foreigne National: NPR 100

SAARC National: NPR 50


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