Goddess Vajrayogini and her temple complex, situated in a hill about 4KM north of traditional Newar Settlement Sankhu is one of the prominent centre of faith of both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims all over the world. Similarly, Sankhu, the traditional Newar settlement situated at 16 KM East of Kathmandu was once an important trade route of Nepal to Tibet. The Goddess Vajrayogini, her temple complex and Sankhu have rich religious, cultural, historical, political, economic and social features and heritage. Both these places are star attractions for tourists who visit Nepal. However apathy by the state and mismanagement of traditional means of resources (like Guthi properties) have depleted resources once abundantly available for maintaining the rich cultural heritage of Goddess Vajrayogini, her temple complex and other cultural heritages in Sankhu. Meanwhile, growing urbanization of the Kathmandu valley is increasingly posing threats to the serene environment of Sankhu and its surrounding villages and also threatening livelihoods, particularly of poorer people and farmers in these villages.
Realising the galore of tangible and intangible heritage of the Goddess Vajrayogini, its temple complex and the settlement of Sankhu, UNESCO has listed the Vajrayogini temple complex and the traditional settlement of Sankhu as nominated world heritage sites of Nepal. Similarly, Sankhu still has lots of potentialities to regain its political, economic and social prominence through promotion of tourism; improvement in livelihoods of people; protection of its land use pattern for agriculture and settlement; promotion of its social cultural heritage and increased economic ties with Melamchi valley in Sindhupalchowk district in the North-East.
Sankhu Mahotsav (Sankhu Festival) is an effort of people of Sankhu as well as an opportunity to let Nepal and the world know about these rich heritage and potentialities of Goddess Vajrayogini, her temple complex and Sankhu and its surrounding villages.
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