Dattatreya Temple, Bhaktapur, Nepal
The Dattatreya Temple is located in a tiny square at the eastern end of Bhaktapur's Tachapal Tol. It celebrates the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva personified as the composite god Dattatreya. The temple was first built as a sattal, a type of dharmasala or public rest house, perhaps in the 15th century.
Functionally, it was comparable to the Kasthamandapa. Both buildings are said to have been constructed from a single tree and to have been situated on an island within a small lake where a well-known Indian jogi had perished.
It is theorized that the the Dattatreya was built during the reign of Yaksha Malla (r. 1428–82) or perhaps his son Raya Malla (r. 1482-1519). Its initial purpose was to serve as a retreat for Shiva ascetics. The design was modified at a later time, presumably during the reigns of Vishva Malla (1547–60) or Jitamitra Malla (1663–96), to transform the sattal into a temple for Dattatreya worship. This necessitated a number of architectural modifications, which took four centuries to completely materialize.