This impressive double roofed temple is said to be the most ancient Vishnu temple in the Kathmandu Valley. The original temple was built around the 4th century. The present pagoda-style temple was rebuilt in 1702 after it was destroyed by fire. It is located in a beautiful peaceful location, 4km north of Bhaktapur, on a hill top in the east side of the Valley. From the temple there are good views of the valley in three directions. The original 5th century stone deity of Lord Vishnu is said to be in the sanctum, but only the priest can see the deity.
A life size 5th century statue of Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu kneels with his hands folded before the temple. Besides Garuda is one of the oldest Licchavi stone inscriptions. In front of the temple here is a statue of kneeling King Bhupatindra Malla and his queen.
There is a 6th century stone statue of Vishnu Viswarup, the universal form of Lord Vishnu that Lord Krishna showed Arjuna while speaking the Bhagavad Gita. On the Lakshmi Narayan Temple there is an 8th century statue of six-armed Trivikratha (Lord Vamana), and next to it is a statue of Lord Narasimha, the man-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Behind the last two statues is a little black slab that has an image of Narayan lying on the traditional serpent Ananta and above it Lord Vishnu with 10 arms and heads. In the northwest corner of the courtyard is a sculpture of Lord Vishnu riding on Garuda, which is on the Rs 10 Nepali banknote. Above the main door is Lord Vishnu holding his four symbols.