Changunarayan temple, about 17-kilometres east of Kathmandu, is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary of the entire Kathmandu, after Swayambunath Stupa. The shrine is situated on the top of a hill called Changu or Dolagiri and surrounded by a small Newari village. One reaches the sanctuary up a flight of one hundred steps. The main temple, dedicated to Vishnu/Narayan, in the current situation, was constructed in the year 325 A. D. The attractions are numerous statues in all the corners of the courtyard and the other art of the period.
Originally, Changunarayan is a Buddhist sanctuary. The Changunarayan temple, in its origin, was dedicated to Hari Hari Hari Vahana Avalokitesvara. Hari Hari Hari Vahana, the main idol of Avalokitesvara, may have been lost or removed with envy in a dark period of history. The main idol of the temple is said to have a lion on a snake, eagle (Garuda) on the lion (Singh), Vishnu on the eagle and finally the Avalokitesvara on Vishnu. In Sanskrit, Singh (lion), Garuda (eagle) and Vishnu are called Hari. In the current time, Changunarayana temple is considered as Vishnu/Narayan temple, and, Hindus worship it as the temple of their deity, but in origin, it is a Buddhist shrine. And Hari Hari Hari (meaning to call three times) is the names of the three vehicles (Vahana) of Avalokitesvara. This shrine got damaged by the 2015 earthquake and rebuilding was accomplished in late 2019.
The tour of the sanctuary is, usually, combined with a sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur city with a supplement of USD 10.00 per person.
In the current time, Changunarayana temple is considered as Vishnu/Narayan temple, and, Hindus worship it as the temple of their deity, but in origin, it is a Buddhist shrine.