The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu valley, is the biggest and the most cosmopolitan city of Nepal. Known as the ‘City of Temples’, it has great temples with historic, architectural and religious importance attached to them. The Valley consists of three main cities of great historic and cultural interest Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon). Situated at an altitude of 1336 meter above the sea level, the Kathmandu valley covers an area of 218 sq. miles. Few of the spiritual attractions in Kathmandu valley include :
About eight kilometers north of Kathmandu, at the base of Sivapuri hill is a remarkable deity of Lord Vishnu, reclining on the bed of snakes. This deity is in the middle of a small pond and seems to float in water. This temple shrine attracts regular pilgrims and large crowds gather during the festivals of Haribodhini Ekadasi and Kartik Poornima.
Called the Sleeping Vishnu, or Jalakshayan Narayan, the deity depicts the deity reclining on the twisting coils of the Shesha. Lord Vishnu’s legs are crossed and the eleven heads of Shesha cradle his head. Vishnu’s four hands hold: a chakra or disc, a conch-shell, a lotus flower and the club.
It is said that in previous yuga, a very old farmer and his wife occupied a farm around this area and while cultivating the land they struck the Deity inside the ground. Immediately afterwards blood began to flow from the ground and thus the lost Deity of Budhanilkantha was uncovered and placed in its rightful position here. This old (Budha) farmer name was Nilkantha but more commonly known as Budha Nilkantha. Deity received its name from the farmer and hence Lord was called as Budhanilkantha. Later when Lord Krishna came in dwapar yuga to Kathmandu, he told his devotees here that he will always be present with them in Kathmandu in this form of Budhanilkantha deity. Lord Krishna during his visit had dried the Kathmandu valley which was full of water reservoir and thus made land inhabitable. Many great sages, pandits and scholars settled here and would recite the two scriptures Katha Upanishad and Manduka Upanishad. Thus place became well known for learning centre of this two upanishads. As a result locals say this place received the name Kathamandu.