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Surroundings
Surya Binayak

 
Situated in beautiful surrounding of Bhaktapur, the temple of Ganesh is placed in a sylvan setting to catch the 1st rays of the rising sun. Surya Binayak is one of the valley’s 4 main Ganesh shrines.  A steep stairways climbs up to the temple on a forested hilltop. Lord Ganesh is very popular as the god of wisdom and good luck, among Hindus. Devotees throng this temple especially on Tuesday and Saturday to pay homage and offer animal sacrifices to the elephant- headed deity. The image of the god sits in an enclosure in the bottom of a Shikhara and there’s a second golden image on the Shikhara spire. Statues of Kneeling devotees face the image and the Shikhara is flanked by large bells. It is a good picnic spot flanked by many attractive landscapes. During marriage seasons, one may chance upon newly married couples seeking blessing from the god for peace, pleasure and mutual harmony in their martial life. Because of its height, the place is also pleasant to view the Bhaktapur city as well as the Himalayan panorama.
 
Behind the main temple, there exists a very thick forest of Schima Wallichi and Castanopsis Indica with thick undergrowth. It is very lively to see the flowering of many wild plants in spring. Rhododendron Arboreum, the national flower of Nepal, blooms in spring season at the upper level of the forest. The whole forest turns reddish during the season. Different types of orchids are also found hanging in the trees in this forest all the year round. This type of forest is one of the best breeding grounds for different kinds of resident and migratory birds sing here in different seasons. Lot of warblers can be seen during winter. Winter is the best time for bird watching in these areas since many types of birds can be seen and the forest will be free from leeches. Moreover, it is one of the best wintering grounds for finches, warblers, birds of prey and many other birds. It is the best refugee place and breeding ground for many summer visitors like flycatchers, cuckoos and bee-eaters. Many resident birds like doves, magpie, treepie, woodpeckers, flower peckers, nuthatches, laughing- thrushes, Minivet, barbets and bulbuls can be seen everywhere in the forest. The eastern and south eastern parts of the forest, since it is more exposed to the sun rays, have more bird diversity. Bird activities in that part of the forest areas are more easily seen in the early mornings. This forest area is the second place where White- Bellied Yuhina can be seen in the Valley.
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