Palanchowk Bhagawati Temple is situated in 55 k.m. northeast of Kathmandu in the top of the scenic Suramya Parbat of Palanchowk. Palanchowk Bhagawati is a beautiful three-storeyed temple of goddess Bhagawoti.
Surrounding one-storied house. Where there is a beautiful artistic image of Mahisasurbardini Durga killing Demon Mahisasur in the form of a buffalo by her trident (Trishul). Four feets hight image of Palanchok Bhagawati was carved in black Saligram stone of Kaligandaki River.
The face is smiling with ornaments. Seated on the back of the lion, goddess Durga is shown as a terrible goddess with a wreath of demons skulls around her neck, with furnished weapons in all her hands, looking a colossal shape and killed the demon in the form of a buffalo by her Trishul.
The Palanchok Bhagawati was built in the reign of king Mandeva in 425 B.S. The beautiful image of the temple was carved by an unknown unlucky sculptor. It is said that Lichhivi King Mandeva and Queen Vijaya Kamini wish to build a temple of Bhagawoti at the top of Suramya Parbat hill of Palanchok. King called a top sculptor of the then time.
To make the image peerless the King and Queen seeking divine power from the goddess Durga they worshipped god Durga. They also worshipped the sculptor and his tools. They also decided to carve the stone image according to Tantrism. The sculptor started to carve with divine power in full skill and power.
After finishing to carve the image they saw an excellent peerless unique beautiful image of goddess Durga. King, Queen and the member of the royal family pleased with the masterpiece work of the artist and presented him lots of money. But the king doesn’t want to have such beautiful unique image in another place so he ordered bodyguard to cut off the right hand of the innocent sculptor so that he will be unable to make another image of goddess same like.
Palanchok Bhagawoti. Due to his skill, the promising young sculptor lost his right hand. He said thanks for this honor and left the palace. He again carved Image of goddess Bhagawoti of the same pose for Naxal Bhagwati by his left hand. The king again ordered his persons to cut off his left hand. Pure gold does not fear the flame. He again decided something is better than nothing so he again made the same types of an image of Bhagawati for Sobha Bhagawati temple by his leg.
After hearing this the king called him in the palace and inform him not to make another image by a leg. After that, the sculptor said I have never expected, you have punished me instead of a reward. So you do not deserve to be here as our king. On hearing this the king becomes angry and orders his persons to cut off his rest two legs.
Anger brings ruins immediately one of the promising artist killed by his king. But his peerless, beautiful and unique sculpture is remaining with us in the temple of Palanchowlk Bhagawati temple. Every year thousands of devotees visit there to pay homage to goddess Durga.
Palanchwok Bhagawati, Naxal Bhagawati, and Sobha Bhagawati are three sisters. Among them, Palanchowk is an elder sister.
History of Palanchwok Bhagawati
Once Goddess Durga appeared herself in a dream of peoples of Buchakot of Kavre Palanchowk district of Nepal. She requests the people to bring an image of Durga lying in a land to the northern side of the district. According to the instruction of Goddess Durga in a dream the peoples of Buchakot lifted the stone image and went towards north one day in the evening they stay in a place of Sathighar village for the night.
In the morning when they are going on the northern side of the district. They cannot lift the stone image from the place. Then they installed the image in the same place and build the temple of Palanchowk Bhagawati.
Again once a merchant who used to import salt from Tibet to Nepal promised Goddess Palanchowk Bhagawati to present something if he got more profit from his business. The next day he saw lots of silver coins in the packet of salt. After that, he installed a big bell on the eastern side of the temple. In Palánchowk Bhagawati temple courtyard there are other images of Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu, Buddha, and other gods and goddesses.
There is a flower garden near Palanchowk Bhagawati temple from where every morning local people of Pahari cast present a bunch of flowers to the goddess Palanchowk Bhagawati. During Chandi Purnima or Baisakh Purnima, the local people dragged chariot of Palanchowk Bhagawoti and celebrates a festival of Palanchowk Bhagawati. The priest of Palanchowk Bhagawoti is the Bajrachatya of Makhan Tole of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is customary to worship first of all in the image of Kali before they worship Palanchowk Bhagawati.
It is said that during calamity in the country one can see the sweat in the face of the image of Palanchowk Bhagawoti. The local people saw sweat in the face of the image of Palanchowk Bhagawoti at the time of the earthquake of 1987 and during an airplane accident in 1974. At that time one of the Military plane was crashed in the hill of Panchkhal near Palanchowk Bhagawati killing all the military persons inside the plane.
Near Palanchowk Bhagawati temple there is a small village of Kharel Brahmans in the eastern side of the temple. The people of Kharel gaon (village) sacrifice a year during Durga Puja. Palanchowk Bhagwati temple is also famous for its scenic beauty. There are green hills and rivers in the background low land of Dolalghat making it an ideal place to enjoy with nature.