Perched at the abrupt end of the ridge north of Bhaktapur, the tranquil temple complex of CHANGU NARAYAN commands a fine view of the valley in three directions. “One remembers all the wealth of carving of the rest of the valley,” wrote Percival Landon in 1928, “but when all is recalled it is probably to the shrine of Changu Narayan that one offers the palm.” Landon wasn’t wrong, and once you’ve run the gauntlet of the souvenir stalls in the little village, you’ll find a site that retains its palpably holy, ancient atmosphere – not to mention the finest collection of statues outside the National Museum.

A single, stone-paved pedestrian street stretches west from the entrance booth, where you pay a fee, along the ridgetop, towards the temple at its apex. It’s lined with souvenir stalls for much of its length, or simple shops selling soft drinks and the like.

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