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Introducing Chabahil

East of the centre of Kathmandu, on the way to Bodhnath, the suburb of Chabahil has a number of historic temples and shrines. Right on the Ring Rd is the imposing Chabahil Stupa, the fourth largest stupa in the Kathmandu area after Bodhnath, Swayambhunath and the Kathesimbhu Stupa near Thahiti Chowk. According to legend, the stupa was constructed by Charumati, the daughter of Ashoka, but it has been patched up numerous times, most recently in 2002, when the tower cracked because of vibrations from passing traffic.

If you take the lane just north of the stupa, and turn left, you will reach the Charamuti Vihar, a medieval Buddhist monastery that used to house the monks who tended the stupa. Continuing past this turning will take you to the revered Chandra Binayak Ganesh Temple, enshrining a tiny silver image of Ganesh. The courtyard is full of tika-powder-covered statues – note the Budhanilkantha-style statue of Narayan reclining on his serpent bed, next to a human figure made of beaten brass panels.