The name Manakamana is translated as MANA meaning heart and KAMANA meaning wish. Thus the Goddess who grants wishes to the ones who visits her shrine to worship her.
In previous times the only way to reach the temple was by climbing the mountain for three hours. Cable car service was started in November 1998 easing the route for devotees and tourists to reach the temple. The cable car station is situated at the base in the Kurinter Village. The cable car takes you on the top of the mountain within 10 minutes. One cable car can occupy 6 people each and staff at the station makes sure that every cable car is completely full. The ticket for cable car is NPR 640.
Cable Car to The Top. Manakamana Temple. Image Source - Google
Once you reach the top, you again have to walk and climb for another 20 minutes to reach the temple complex.
Temple complex was very badly damaged in April 2015 earthquake because of which the idol is moved to the small room in front of the temple. You still get to see the temple's pagoda style structure from outside but it is all covered with construction material. Hopefully, the renovation will be complete in coming months.
The legend of the Manakamana temple is linked with the Gorkha king Ram Shah during the 17th century. It is said that his queen had divine powers with her and was only visible and known to her devotee Lakhan Thapa. One fine day when the queen was in her divine goddess form, King Ram Shah saw her and her devotee in Lion form.
Later King spoke about this to her queen and revealed about what he had seen. After that King Ram Shah passed away mysteriously. As per the age-old tradition; Queen committed Sati (killing yourself as per rituals after husband) but she promised her devotee Lakhan Thapa that she would return.
A few months later in a village, a farmer was working in his field, when he found a stone. And he saw a stream of blood and milk from the stone. As soon as Lakhan Thapa heard this news; he started with various rituals to cease the flow and then the place was converted to the temple complex which is situated at the present location.