The temple of Indresvar Mahadev
Situated in the city of Banepa is the temple of Indresvar Mahadev. It is also known as the principal haven of this city which, according to some book, was built by Sri Viramadevi (an influential princess of the Bhota (Banepa) dynasty) in N.S. 414. It is also known as Aindrakuta, where Aindra means ‘Indra’ in Newari language and Kuta means ‘a building’. There is also a legend, like most of the other temples in Nepal have, connected to the temple.
The temple is three storied and stands on the center of a big courtyard with paved bricks. The windows, doors, beams, struts and other parts of the temple consists of fine and beautifully carved images of various deities which not only makes the temple attractive but also gives fine example of the Newari architectural talents and skills. The Shiva Linga erected in the cellar of the Indresvar Mahadev by the princess has been covered with a decoration of glided plaques that are engraved with various images of the Lord like, Tat Purush Aghor, Sadyojat and Vamadev and each of this four turn to their own direction.
The open courtyard outside and also the space around the temple contains various idols of different deities. Also, there is a very old temple of Visvesvar at the northwest corner and a temple of Unmanta Bhairav in the southern side that increases the significance of the courtyard. Moreover, there are idols of Astamatrikas (the eight mother goddesses) in the Bhairav temple. The glories of a great political personality, also the devotee of Narayan and Indresvar Mahadev, Jaya Singharam has been mentioned in the gold-plated inscription that is placed inside the temple and dates back to N.S. 512 (1391 H:D). He has also honored Jayarjunadev, the king of Banepa with pushpavishek and Sthiti Malla with Pattavishek.
It is believed that on the day of Jestha Purnima, different deities, nagas and naginis (serpent) and demi gods and goddesses used to come to Panauti in human disguise to witness the glorious festival. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. First of all, the chariot of Brahmayani is brought to the open space at the ancient durbar square of the town after which a big chariot of Indresvar Mahadev is carried out to the place on men’s shoulders. Then the two-tiered chariot of Bhadrakali is pulled and brought to this place and soon after that, another wooden four wheeled chariot with a giant image of Bhairab with his hand stretched, is brought. Then the chariot of Bhadrakali is kicked and made to collide with that of Bhairav at its back side, which is said to symbolize copulation. Then the chariot is pulled from the back side and Bhadrakali’s chariot is collided with the one of Indresvar Mahadev when people throw sacred red powder in the air. It is said that if a person bathes in the holy Tribenighat, their sins will be washed away.