Patan is famous for religious sites. Tourists from different countries visit this place to observe traditional Newari monuments. Rudra Varna Mahavihar is one of the most beautiful monastery of patan and a better Nepal tourist place. It is located in Lalitpur Okhubahal, near the world famous Mahaboudha Terracotta temple which is also known as nine thousand Buddha temple. It is nearly 500 meters away from Patan Durbar Square.
The Mahavihar was built by Lichhavi king Shiva Deva in 6th century A.D. Thus, it is named Shiva Deva Sanskarita. The king became Buddhist monk in this vihar and after some days according to his teacher’s guidance he lived as a house hold monk and spent each day meditating before the image of buddha he had installed in the main shrine of vihar. His sons and grandsons carried the tradition. After 400 years the vihar was renovated by king Rudra Deva, since the name of the vihar became Shiva Deva Sanskarita Shree Rudra Varna Mahavihar.
The entrance of the vihar is a gate with two large stone lions welcoming the visitors. The lions hold the spears by both hands and half moon symbol is raised in between them. The moon symbolizes Chandra, the spear indicates Sama and the lion indicates Shera. So, in this way the name of Chandra Sham Shera is symbolized in the gate. Entering the gate one can reach first compound of the vihar called Ubaha Gathicha. There are three deities in this compound, they are Shakyamuni Buddha, Chaitya and Lokeshwara. Passing through the entry way there is the main shrine of the vihar and courtyard.
The shrine is 3 storied facing north. At the center of the shrine in ground floor, there is a large image of Shakyamuni Buddha adorned with various ornaments. The door of the main shrine is decorated with gold plated respousee metal sheets with floral design and molded images. The courtyard of the vihar is filled with large collection of metal casted figures. The image of lion, elephant, peacock, horse and garuda are installed in both sides of the main shrine as the vehicle symbols of Pancha Buddha. This place is pleasant, the walls and altars of this place is quite popular for their statues and the place is worth a visit.