The Nyatapola temple was built in 1702 AD by King Bhupatindra Malla of the 17th century, and it took roughly six months (six months from the day the king laid the foundation with three bricks after all the preparations). All of Nepal‘s other temples are known for the name of the God-Goddess enshrined within them, but this is the only one that is known for its structure rather than the name of the goddess.
Nyatapola is a Nepalbhasa word that combines the words Nyata and Pola. Nyata refers to a five-story building with a roof(Pola). Because of its five roofs, the name of this temple has been altered to Nyatapola. Few people are likely aware that this temple houses an idol of mother Siddhilaxmi. As a result, the structure is known as Nyatapola rather than Siddhilaxmi temple. It is one of Nepal’s highest pagoda temples.
The Nyatapola temple is a living example of how only a woman can bring a man under her control. Lord Bhairavnath Kashi Bishwanath had a violent temper, and it was determined that only one woman could subdue Bhairav while debating what might be done to calm him down. Two formidable “Kutuwas” are also kept for the safety of mother Siddhilaxmi . However, it is stated that no procession, Guthi, Bhajan or other treasure of this goddess exists, regardless of how tall the temple is. In the four corners of Yash Mandir, four Ganesh temples have been created. The major purpose of these four temples is to verify that Nyatapola’s slope is right.
Taumadhi Square in Bhaktapur, Nepal where it was erected with time-tested virtuosity at King Bhupatindra Malla‘s request in 1702. While the temple is a magnificent legacy of Nepalese history, the structure of the building is so strong that it survived an 8.3 Earthquake in 1934, followed by another in 2015, with no structural damage. The deities Bhairav, a violent manifestation of Lord Shiva, and, in particular, Siddhi Laxmi, the Tantric manifestation of “The Invincible” goddess Durga (Bhagawati), to whom Nyatapola is devoted, have strong connection to the structure.
A distraught ruler summoned Durga(Bhagawati), the goddess of love, fertility, and beauty, when Bhairav threatened civilization’s extinction, according to local tradition. She defeated Bhairav with Nyatapola, a considerably more powerful temple than Bhairav‘s shrine in Taumadhi Square, in the guise of Siddhi Laxmi.The initial Bhairav chapel was a simple structure that was gradually expanded over time. The temple was completely damaged in the earthquake of 1934, and it had to be reconstructed, with a third tier added during the process.
A shrine devoted to Siddhi Laxmi exists within the exquisite Nyatapola Temple, and it is said to be so powerful that it has been reserved solely for temple priests since it was forged. Additional Siddhi Laxmi likenesses may be discovered in the temple’s details, such as above doors and across the roof’s structure.
The goddesses Baghini—the “Tigress“—and Singhini—the “Lioness“—guard the temple via a brick stairway guarded by five pairs of sculpted deities of ascending power: first, the wrestlers Jayamel and Phattu, believed to have possessed superhuman strength; then Elephants, Lions and Gryphons; and finally, just before the temple doors, the goddesses Baghini.
Nyatapola was one of several temples established in the 18th century in the states of Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu. The Kathmandu Valley, popularly known as the Valley of the Temples, currently includes all three former states.
The Nyatapola Temple is a “Type F” type temple, according to architectural historian Wolfgang Korn, in which a colonnade completely encloses an inner brick wall. In this way, the temple resembles others in the valley, such as Kirtipur’s Uma Maheshwar.
The colonnade is supported on the facade by a scalloped “archway” that is supported by a sturdy (25-centimeter-tall) wooden beam. The beam was formerly painted with depictions of flowers and vegetation, which are difficult to see nowadays. Small carved representations of deities positioned above the highest points of the “arches” hide the beam’s joints. This entire ensemble, according to Bernier, is of a “unique type” (Bernier, p. 104). A wavy band runs over the cornice, which is topped by protruding beam-ends carved in the shape of pouncing tigers and other fearsome animals. Dental molding also serves as the topmost foundation for the brickwork that supports the walls and brackets above. Each tier of the roof is supported by a slew of carved wooden brackets. A three-dimensional carved image of a multi-armed deity stands above a lower register depicting one or more other gods in varied stances in most cases. Secondary brackets are placed on either side of each primary bracket to offer additional support. These are fashioned to seem like overlapping scalloped leaves that resemble snake scales. Each composition was clearly originally brightly painted, but today only faded remains of the original colors can be seen.
Each tier of the roofing follows the same format, except the number of brackets drops from six on each side (at the lowest level) to two on each side (at the highest level) (on the top tier).
The roofs and brackets are structurally supported by a thick brick core that narrows in breadth as it rises over the plinth. The brick core is ornamented with a large transom, quarter round panels on either side, and blind windows flanking the doors at the base level, in typical Newar form. There are no adequate windows, and the doors are kept locked at all times to maintain privacy. The internal space is most likely only accessible on the ground floor, which means that whatever Tantric rites are performed within the small, womb-like inner chamber, there is likely only a few square feet of floor space and room for a dozen or so priests.