About 22 kms from Kathmandu, the beautiful temple of Changunarayan stands at the eastern hilltop of the valley. It is the valley oldest proven existing temple. Although the temple dates from 1702, the origins of the temple go back to the fourth century. Changunarayan temple is endowed with glorious metal works and woodcarvings and its courtyard is an authentic museum of a fine ancient stone sculptures.
This double roofed temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan and is exceptionally beautiful, with quite amazing intricate roof struts depicting multi-armed Tantric deities. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple itself.
The much older images found in the temple courtyard are of equal interest. There are various images of lord Vishnu carrying the symbols associated with the god in his four hands. In the southwest corner, there are several notable images including Vishnu as Narsingha, his man-lion incarnation. There are also several beautiful hikes that can be started from or ended in Changunarayan.