Godavari Tourist Attractions
Godavari lies some 10 km (6 mi.) east of Patan/Lalitpur on the Pulchowki river. It is a straggling community with a motley array of buildings and sights, completely lacking the compactness of a traditional Newari village. A marble works has operated in the vicinity since 1890.
Pulchowki means "place of flowers", a name it richly deserves on account of the myriad of rhododendron blooms. The 2762 m (9065 ft) summit has a profound influence on the local climate, producing the highest average precipitation in the Kathmandu Valley.Pulchowki was once covered by jungle, but deforestation and exploitation of the marble quarry have shorn it of its precious hemlock firs.On the summit there is a small open shrine dedicated to Pulchowki Mai. The ancient mother goddess of the forest has recently been forced to share her hitherto peaceful abode with a telecommunications tower. In clear weather the views towards the Tarai and over the Kathmandu Valley, with the Himalayas in the background, are spectacular.
Pulchowki Mai Pagoda
At the foot of the hill stands a Nau-Dhara shrine dedicated to Pulchowki Mai, the oldest goddess of the forest. The roof struts of the somewhat dilapidated three-storied pagoda are carved with figures of the Ashta Matrikas, one of whom is Pulchowki Mai herself. The three-storied pagoda shows severe signs of decay. Near by stands a small shrine to Ganesh. In front of the temple courtyard are two large tanks fed by water from nine outlets. The Nau Dhara (Nine Fountains) symbolize the nine rivers to which Pulchowki gives rise.
Water from the sacred Godavari Kunda (spring) collects in a pool in the inner temple courtyard before flowing via nine stone gargoyles into a stepped tank below. The Godavari spring and the river of the same name in Madras (southern India) are linked in legend by the miracle of an Indian sadhu who, having lost his precious possessions - rosary, club, pouch, tiger skin and gourd - while bathing in Madras, found them again in the Godavari Kunda. Every twelfth year when Jupiter is in the sign of Leo a mela (gathering) takes place here attended by thousands of Hindu pilgrims.
The favorable climate and good soil enable a rich selection of orchids, ferns, succulents and cacti to thrive in the 24 ha (59 acres) Botanic Gardens. Unfortunately, few of these plants, typical of Nepal's wealth of flora, are marked. On Saturdays and public holidays the gardens are crowded; numerous families organize boisterous picnic parties and stroll through the park.