Tadhunchen Bahal

Buddhist Temple in Bhaktapur

Walking east from Durbar Sq, you’ll pass the gateway to the restored Tadhunchen Bahal monastery, tucked between souvenir shops. This Buddhist temple is linked to the cult of the Kumari, Bhaktapur’s living goddess. Bhaktapur actually has three Kumaris, but they lack the political importance of Kathmandu’s.

In the inner courtyard the roof struts on the eastern side have unusual carvings that show the tortures of the damned. In one, a snake is wrapped around a man, another shows two rams butting an unfortunate’s head, while a third strut shows a nasty tooth extraction being performed with a large pair of pliers!