Patan’s Krishna Temple (Krishna Mandir) is one of Kathmandu’s finest temples, and unlike most in Nepal, which are usually made from carved wood and brick, Krishna is made of finely crafted stone. Built in 1637, it stands unique in the middle of Patan Durbar Square and is a highlight of a visit to Patan.
Visitors often stop at Krishna Temple as part of a larger guided Patan tour, as it’s one of several places of interest in and around the Patan Durbar Square. The temple was built by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla in the Shikara style of Hindu temple architecture that’s more common in India. It has 21 golden pinnacles and features carvings of scenes from the Ramayana. Each floor houses a different Hindu god: Krishna, Shiva, and Lokeshwor. Krishna is a favorite god among women, and visitors may see women in particular performing worship (puja) here.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Non-Hindus cannot go inside the temple itself but can admire the building from the outside.
- Non-Nepalis must pay an entry fee to enter Patan Durbar Square. The price differs for citizens of SAARC countries and other nationalities.
- You will see many people around Krishna Temple trying to lure tourists into paid Durbar Square tours. If this interests you, check credentials first, and don’t feel pressured into paying for services that you don’t want.
How to Get There
Krishna Temple is in the middle of Patan Durbar Square. Get there from other parts of Kathmandu via taxi. For a more local experience, take a white Lalitpur Yatayat bus (No. 21, although the signs are in Nepali) from central Kathmandu (Jamal or Shahid Gate) to Patan Dhoka bus park. From there, Patan Durbar Square is a 10-minute walk through the streets of Old Patan.
When to Get There
There’s no bad time to visit Krishna Temple. Devotees perform worship ceremonies at dawn and dusk, so the atmosphere is especially charged at those times. Durbar Square gets quite busy on Saturday, Nepal’s day of rest. Every August, Krishna Temple is the focus of the Krishna Janmashtami festival, which celebrates Hindu Lord Krishna’s birthday. This is an exciting time to visit the temple, though it can be very crowded.
Eat at a Local Hole-in-the-Wall
Honacha restaurant is located just behind Krishna Temple. In fact, the local, authentic spot is often simply referred to as “the restaurant behind the temple.” Those with a strong stomach and an adventurous palate will want to try this decades-old favorite serving Newari food made by the ethnic group indigenous to the Kathmandu Valley.