Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is rich in arts, architecture, culture and religious spots which make it a great tourist destination for national and international visitors. Manjushree Cave is a new destination in Kathmandu which opened for visitors from Jan. 30. 2007.
Who Is Manjushree ?
MANJUSHREE, personification of Transcendent Wisdom, and embodiment of the discriminative awareness (prajna). He is also the first among other Boddhisattvas according to Mahayana Buddhist scriptures. In the Namasangiti [Mahayana scripture] he is called 'Adi-Buddha', or pre-moral Buddha, while in some of the text of sutras, he is referred as an historical character.
Manjushree Cave ( Nepali word is "Gufa") is located in Chobhar gorge of Kritipur municipality, which lies in the southern part of Kathmandu Valley. Chobhar gorge, where the Manjushree Cave is located, is related with the interesting legends of the origin of Kathmandu Valley.
In the Svayambhu-purana, it is related that Manjushree left Mount Pancasirsha to visit the shrine of Svayambhu [presently in Kathmandu], which was on a mountain in the center of Lake Kalihrada. He found the lake filled with aquatic monsters and the temple inaccessible. He therefore 'opened with his sword a valley on the southern side of the lake [presently CHOVAR], the waters of the lake drained through the opening, leaving dry land at the bottom, and this was the Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal. So, he is believed as founder of civilization in Nepal and a 'Wanderer' [mendicant Buddhist priest] who propagated Buddhism into Nepal. That's why the cave is named after the name of Manjushree.
Manjushree Cave was formally opened by the Jal Binayak Community Forest Users' Group. The total length of the cave is said to be 1250m long, although only 350m of the cave is open to visitors. One has to pay an entrance fee to explore the cave. The photographer and Blogger N.Baral have visit Gufa and share his experince in his Blog Nepal Through the lens (Pictures in this post and information about Gufa also taken from same blog).
The fees are a minimum US$5 to a maximum $10 per person. The price depends upon the length of the route that a visitor wants to visit. The cost of the headlamp and a cave guide is included in the price.
There are five routes which have been opened at present. These routes converge at different points, so it is possible for visitors to enter from one point and to exit from another point. There are three entrance points; one is the main entrance and the others are Bagh Gufa and Naya Gufa.
There are two small ponds inside the cave. The first pond is Mahadev Pond which is 40.3m from the main entrance and the other is Naya Pond which is about 60m from main entrance.
Read Full Post and more pictures at N.Baral's Blog Nepal Through the lens
Also visit Jal Vinayak Website to see Ganesh Worship as Jal Vinayak.