Budhanilkantha Temple, located in Budhanilkantha, Nepal, is a Hindu open-air temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Budhanilkantha Temple is located at the base of the Shivapuri Hill and can be identified by a large reclining statue of Lord Vishnu. This turned out to be the figure of lost deity of Budhanilkantha, which was recovered and placed in its present position. The statue is 5 meters in length and it lies in a reclining position inside a recessed tank of water (representing the cosmic sea) that is 13 meters in length. Called the Sleeping Vishnu, or Jalakshayan Narayan, the statue depicts the deity reclining on the twisting coils of the cosmic serpent Shesha (Shesha is the eternal, multi-headed king of the serpent deities known as Nagas, and also is the servant of Vishnu). Vishnu’s legs are crossed and the eleven heads of Shesha cradle his head. Vishnu’s four hands hold objects that are symbols of his divine qualities: a chakra or disc (representing the mind), a conch-shell (the four elements), a lotus flower (the moving universe) and the club (primeval knowledge).
According to story, a farmer and his wife once struck a figure while plowing the field, which caused it to start soaking blood into the ground. This turned out to be the figure of lost deity of Budhanilkantha, which was recovered and placed in its present position.
Another legend states that the statue was sculpted and brought to its current location in Kathmandu during the reign of the seventh-century monarch Vishnu Gupta, who controlled the Kathmandu Valley under the Lichchhavi king Bhimarjuna Dev. This temple has become the site on which Haribondhini Ekadashi takes place during the 11th day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October Â November). Attended by many thousands of pilgrims, it is the principal festival for the year in celebration of the awakening of Lord Vishnu from his long sleep.