Kathmandu owes its name to this ancient building, which was sadly destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.
Although its history is uncertain, local tradition says the three-roofed building was constructed around the 12th century from the wood of a single sal tree, though recent research dates the foundations as far back as the 7th century. It first served as a community centre where visitors gathered before major ceremonies (a mandap is a 16-pillared pilgrim shelter), but later it was converted to a temple dedicated to Gorakhnath, a 13th-century ascetic who was subsequently linked to the royal family.
A central wooden enclosure housed the image of the god, which was noteworthy since Gorakhnath is usually represented only by his footprints. In the corners of the building were four images of Ganesh.