At the southern end of the Sikha Narayan Temple square, just across the crossroads on the corner, you will see a lump of wood into which thousands of coins have been nailed. The coins are offerings to the toothache god, which is represented by a tiny image in the grotesque lump of wood. The square at the junction is known as Bangemudha, which means ‘Twisted Wood’.

Also in Bangemudha Sq is the small, double-roofed Sikha Narayan Temple, easily identified by the kneeling Garuda figure and the modern clock on the wall. The temple houses a beautiful 10th- or 11th-century four-armed Vishnu figure.

On the north side of the square, in the middle of the nondescript northern frontage, directly beneath the ‘Raj Dental Clinic’ sign, is a standing Buddha statue framed by modern blue and white tilework. The image is only about 60cm high but dates from the 5th or 6th century. It’s a reminder of how casually artistic treasures lie strewn around Kathmandu.

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Nearby Kathmandu attractions

1. Seto Machhendranath Temple (Jan Bahal)

0.09 MILES

Southwest of Asan Tole at the junction known as Kel Tole, this temple attracts both Buddhists and Hindus – Buddhists consider Seto (White) Machhendranath…

2. Krishna Temple


This old building, jammed between gleaming brass shops just southwest of Asan Tole, looks decrepit at first glance. Look closer and you'll notice some…

3. Kathesimbhu Stupa

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The most popular Tibetan pilgrimage site in the old town is this lovely stupa, a small copy dating from around 1650 of the great Swayambhunath complex…

4. Itum Bahal

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The long, rectangular courtyard of the Itum Bahal is the largest bahal (Buddhist monastery courtyard) in the old town and remains a haven of tranquillity…

5. Asan Tole

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From dawn until dusk the six-spoked junction of Asan Tole is jammed with vegetable and spice vendors selling everything from yak tails to dried fish. It’s…

6. Yita Chapal

0.13 MILES

On the south side of Asan Tole is the Yita Chapal (Southern Pavilion), which was once used for festival dances (the dance platform out front is just…

7. Indra Chowk

0.14 MILES

The busy street of Makhan Tole spills into Indra Chowk, the courtyard named after the ancient Vedic deity, Indra. Locals crowd around the square’s…

8. Annapurna Temple

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The three-storey Annapurna Temple in the southeast corner of Asan Tole is dedicated to the goddess of abundance; Annapurna is represented by a purana …