Shrine in Kathmandu

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.