About 17 km away from Kathmandu, Sankhu (also known as Sakwa) is an ancient town predominated by Newars. Famous for its rich cultural heritage and traditional architecture and sculptures, it is home to time-honored temples such as the Vajrayogini and Mahadev temples. Shaped like a conch, the oldest inscription to be found in Sankhu dates back to 538 CE. Temple, believed to be more than 300 years old, is a prominent landmark of Sankhu. Legend has it that King Mandev used to meditate in the Gun Bihar arena (now called Sankhu).

IMG_0593Within the legends of Manisaila Mahavadana, Vajrayogini is said to have drained the lake water from the Sankhu Valley with her curved knife. She also appeared before the temple priest Jogdev and instructed King Sankhadev to build the town of Sankhu in the shape of a conch shell. The oldest inscription at Sankhu which dates back to 538 CE attests to this. There is also another tale that tells a different story, ascribing the building of Sangkhu temple in 1655 CE to the Nepalese King Prakash Malla.

Bajrayogini Jatra at Sankhu is celebrated every year in the month of April (Chaitra/Baishak) for eight-long days where the idols of the Gods from the Bajrayogini temple are brought down to the town and carried around the entire town. Priests accompany the idols of the two big idols Mhasukhwamaju (yellow-faced goddess) and Chibadya (the chaitya/stupa shaped idol – husband of Mhasukhwamaju) while two small idols of their children Singli (lioness) and Byangli (tigress) are carried in smaller chariots by the children of the community. Bajrayogini Jatra is very famous among Newar Community so from different locality people gather to observe this festival. Culturally, Sankhu is famous for two events; the Salinadi mela and the Bajrayogini Jatra festival.