The construction of temples began in Nepal from the early Kirata period in the 6th century B.C, when it is commemorated to the mother Goddess. A lot of temple constructions began with the Lichhavi period in Nepal. After the advent of the Malla kings in Nepal, the process of the tiered temple styles began. The Indreshwar temple of Panauti is a classic example of this form of architecture. According to the Gopalarajavamshavali, a late 16th century chronicle, a princess from Banepa, named Viramadevi, established an “Indrakuta”, that is the temple dedicated to Indra in the 13th century. Radiocarbon dating confirms that this period was exactly when the temple was built.
The temple is at the south eastern portion of the town of Panauti. This spot is also at the confluence of the Rosi and Punyamati rivers. Legend says that the king of the heavens, Indra seduced Ahalya, the wife of the sage Gautama. It is said that Ahalya was converted into a stone, which is now at the north eastern corner of the temple’s platform. Almost every portion of the temple is ornately decorative with exquisite carvings. The temple displays an exquisite array of fine wood carvings that depict the dexterity of Newari wood artisans.
The construction of the structure is archaic; there are minor deities depicted at the centre. There are 6 of these on each sides and the corresponding four at the upper level. They are seated on Lotus. The second level shows the bird men, peacocks and lions.
Much of the temple is a typical Newari style depicting the three levels of divinity. The levels depict the presence of the divine in the heavens, the sky and the earth. The Indreswar temple is all about looking for spiritual transformations but not just in prayer filled pilgrimage tours but also through the incredible beauty and history of this fabled structure that commands our attention A visit to this temple reveals the striking beauty, multi-layered history, and cultural treasures of Nepal and perhaps even help you explore the deep hidden beautiful world of the Newar people.