Shankhu was established in 1299 B.C. We know very little about the Shankhu.
“Vajrayogini is not so terrifying and she is not blue but red, which is the proper color of Vajrayogini. Yet she has been called Ugratara-Vajrayoginiat least since 1775 when King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu put up that inscription after he built the present temple. Perhaps the most that can be said is the she is a peculiarly Nepalese form of the terrifying Blue Tara, possibly based on an iconographic source that has been lost. There is a story that this Ugratara was brought to Nepal by Bengali priests about A. D. 1350. Whatever the truth of this story, the site is far more ancient. If the pilgrims turn from the main shrine to the smaller two-roofed temple to the right he begins a journey into the past and a much earlier tradition of Buddhism. The gilt torana over the main doorway depicts a late figure: the tantric form of Amitabha with three faces and twelve arms sitting in vajrasana on the peacock throne. He is flanked on his right by a four-armed female figure, Prajnaparamita and on his left by the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Together they symbolize the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Inside the temple, instead of an image, is a caitya over a thousand years old. This caitya points to the long history of this site and its other name: Gum Baha or Gum Vihara, “The Forest Monastery. An inscription of A. D. 608 put up by King Amsuvarma mentions a grant for Gum Vihara, one among many such institutions so favored by the king. The oldest and most reliable of the Nepalese chronicles, tells us that King Manadeva (A. D. 464-505) retired to Gum Vihara at one time to do penance. Later chronicles add that because of his penance a caitya arose there spontaneously, clearly a reference to this caitya which the people still call “a swayambhu catya” a self-existent caitya. A fragment of an inscription found at Sankhu. And from this same early period, refers to the “mahasanghika bhiksu sangha”, the community of Buddhist monks who follow the Mahasanghika tradition, the only reference from this period to a specific Buddhist school or sect.
Scholars speculate that the monastery is probably even older than this period. Many Buddhist monasteries were founded in this early period when kings calling themselves “Licchavi” ruled Nepal. But the culture of the Licchavis was highly Sanskritised, and the monasteries founded in their day bear Sanskrit names. “Gum” is not a Sanskrit word, but a Tibeto-Burman would word meaning a “forest”. Chronicles tell us that the Valley was ruled earlier by Kirata kings. Perhaps it was in their time that this “Forest Monastery” was founded. If the pilgrim moves round the rest of the complex he will see tantalizing bit and pieces of the intervening history. North of the enshrined caitya are four small caityas datedfrom the fifth to the eight centuries. A short stairway leads up to another level and an enclosed, paved courtyard with a sunken fountain in the center and surrounded by rest houses and residential quarters. Here the current custodian of the shrine stays when he tends the shrine. He belongs to a still extant sangha of four lineages of Vajracaryas and Sakyas who since medieval times have lived here. They form the sangha of this monastery and still tend its shrines by turn. Today they live in the village below but must stay here in the traditional monastery during their period of service. On the ground floor of the building where this priest stays is a small room. To the left as one enters is a large gilt copper caitya about five feet tall. To the left of this is a colossal cast copper or bronze head of the Buddha. The image is partially buried and it is impossible to see how much more than the head there is. This has been dated to the fifth century A. D. On the floor above this is another shrine which contains a duplicate image of Vajrayogini and two other astonishing pieces. “
In some articles the above mentioned image is dated 4th century A.D.
Anyway it is no doubt that Vajrayogini is valuable treasure of Nepal, which is not only explain about the mastery of Nepalese in Tantric Mediattion but as a unique treasure of the world that links Buddhism. So it can also be consider as source of tantric mediation that went to Tibet and China.
We can classify classical and modern tantrice meditations. We are not claiming that it is the beginning of Tantra. Tantra was mentioned long time back even before the Buddhas’ period but we can surely tell to the whole world more scientific tantra started right here at Vajrayogini and reached the highest peak and then it went to Tibet and China and other parts of the world. No doubt about it! However more research on this issue will bring all the missing links and will help.
Bajrayogini and Shankhu village are great treasures of Nepal, they need full governmental & and public attention. We as well as department of Archeology have lot to do with it. It can be center of Tantric Mediation for whole world, where we can promote tantric meditation, Bajrayogini Dance teaching center, Retreat center, Tantric Mediatation in Martial arts (Kunchido as a part of the system) and many more. That will generate not only in the interest of whole world but will also be number one tourist center that generates revenue and create jobs in surrounding area.
Visit http://www.kungchido.com for more about the martial arts (Kungchido), Bajrayogini, Lion Roar connection and Tibet and many more.