Raato Matsyendranath Mandir, Patan
From December to July the deity known to the Nepalese as the Red (Raato) Matsyendranath and to the Newaris as Bunga Dyo (Bungamati's God) resides in Patan's Matsyendranath Temple. He spends the rest of the year in Bungamati, a small town south of Patan.Raato Matsyendranath is the most popular deity in Patan, revered by Buddhists and Hindus alike. He is the focus of celebration at the annual Matsyendranath Jatra, a chariot procession the origins of which can be traced back to the 13th c. Worshipped as Bunga Dyo since the 7th c., the god quickly became associated with Padmapani Lokeshvara, Brahma's guru and creator of the world. In the 18th c. he was known as Matsyendranath, Lord of the Fishes and Master of the Senses, titles which show Tantric influence.Raato Matsyendranath is represented by a red painted flat-faced image with penetrating eyes and large gilded ears. At the Matsyendranath Jatra he takes up temporary abode in a vessel of holy water. Meanwhile the image is refurbished by members of a specially designated caste prior to setting out in July for Bungamati.The Matsyendranath Temple is located in the courtyard of the Tah Bahal or Dharmakirta Mahavihara. The tall, three-storied pagoda was built in about 1673 by Siddhi Narasimha Malla, replacing an earlier building dating from 1408.Perched on columns in front of the temple are a menagerie of bronze animals, the Tibetan symbols for the months of the year. Wood-carvings on the roof struts depict various aspects of the Bodhisattva Padmapani Lokeshvara with whom Matsyendranath is identified. Note also the scenes of hell-fire and torment.