The most sacred Hindu temple in Nepal is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In February-March the site holds the famed Maha Shivaratri festival, the great night of Shiva. The temple complex is very large, with guesthouses, temples, shrines and other landmarks. Its burning ghats on the river banks are the holiest in Nepal.
The temple's legendary foundations begin with the god Shiva's retreat from heaven to this spot, where he incarnated as a deer. The other gods beeseched him to return, and after a struggle in which one of his antlers broke off, he planted the horn in the ground and declared the site forever holy.
The legend contineus that the first man in Nepal, a figure named Ne (and pronounced "nay"), found the horn because his cow was spontaneously emptying her milk onto the side in worship. He beult the first temple on the site.
Historical foundations for the site are less clear. It is connected in medieval history books with the Kirat Dynasty that rules from about 800 BCE, and was surely a sacred site by the third century BCE. Stone sculptures of various gods and goddesses at the site can be confidently dated as early as the 4th century CE.
The Magnificent Seven - The World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley
The Valley of Kathmandu is fertile, flat and compact. It is situated at the altitude of between 1,200 to 1,500 meters (between 4,000 to 5,000 feet).
The valley is also small, with an area of only 220 square miles (570 square kilometers). Yet in its smallness, there are record seven World Heritage Sites declared by the UNESCO - a fact unrivalled anywhere in the world! The seven man-made wonders are the milestones of Nepal's past and a living museum of high culture.
Unesco World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu