To reach Patan from Kathmandu it takes about 45 mins to 1 hour, the Bagmati rivers act as a separation point between the two districts.
Patan has managed to maintain its culture of craftwork even in this modern era. It is less populated than the capital city but has many stores, restaurants, workshops, etc.
This city is the center for both Hindu and Buddhist cultures filled with arts, temples, and monasteries of these religions.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is one of the main attractions in this district. It is situated in the heart of Patan and is one of the three Durbar Squares of Kathmandu valley.
This Durbar Square was once home for royal families living in Patan. The palace of the Malla kings is one of the major attractions here.
The area is surrounded by old monuments and architecture made by the Newari peoples. Durbar square has a lot of temples and statues around it.
More than a dozen stupas are situated inside the Durbar square. And the alley’s around the Square are narrow making it a little crowded.
However, it is one of the oldest Buddhist cities of Nepal, consisting of 136 bahals and 55 major temples.
Some important building in Patan Durbar Square are as follows:
Krishna Mandir was built in 1667 by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla. This Mandir is the most important temple in Patan Durbar Square.
The craving done on the stone pillars of the first and second floors is very remarkable. The pillars are engraved with events of ancient times such as the first floor has an event of Mahabharata and the second floor has a craving of Ramayana.
The temple is made of three stories tall and in each storey, you can find shrines for different gods. The temple has a total of 21 golden pinnacles.
The first floor is the main chapel where the statue of Lord Krishna resides with the statue of Radha and Rukmini on each side. Likewise in the second storey, Lord Shiva resides there and the third storey is dedicated to Lokeshwor (Lord Buddha).
During the festive of Krishna Ashtami, the places inside the Durbar Square gets really crowded with thousands of devotees visiting it.
Bhimsen temple is named after one of the great personalities in Mahabharata Bhimsen who was known for his bravery. This was built during 1680 by Srinivasa Malla.
The temple is popular for its three interconnected golden windows. Newari people believe that this God brings good fortune in trade and business.
Note: Tourists are not allowed inside the temple but you can view it from outside.
Vishwanath Temple was built in 1627 during the ruling of Siddhi Narsingh Malla. The god residing inside the temple is Lord Shiva.
The roof has cravings similar to Shiva temples situated in India. At the entrance, you can see two elephants made of stone Guarding the place.
Next to the temple, you can see a sculpture of a bull, which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva. However, inside the temple, a Linga(statue) stone is set out.
Taleju Bhawani Temple
Taleju Bhawani Temple was built by Siddhi Narsingh Malla in 1640, but due to fire, it had to be rebuilt by Srinivasa Malla in 1667.
The temple is five storeys tall and has triple roofs. The god residing inside the temple is Taleju Bhawani, who was once the personal godhead of Malla Kings.
Places around the Durbar Square
The museum was established by Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1997. The museum showcases the traditional and sacred arts of Nepali culture.
It exhibits Nepal’s cultural history from a very long time ago. It also has few rare objects which are quite valuable.
It is the first public museum and is considered one of the best in Asia. You can view religious objects and bronze statues inside the Museum.
The museum offers various artifacts of stone and metal and also paintings from the Licchavi period. It gives the perfect introduction to Nepal’s religious craftsmanship.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar
Hiranya Varna Mahavir is also known as the Golden Temple located in Kwabahal Tole. It was established in the 12th century by King Bhaskardev.
The temple is mostly known for feeding rats. It is a three storey pagoda styled building having been painted with the color of gold.
The deity that resides inside the temple is Shakyamuni Buddha. The temple is surrounded by Courtyard making it a great example for a courtyard temple architecture.
Within the courtyard is placed a small gumba of Lokeshwor. Also, a small temple of Swayambhunath Chaitya is presented facing the main temple.
Rudra Varna Mahavihar
Rudra Varna Mahavihar is an ancient Buddhist monastery situated in Okubahhal. Along with the monastery, a shrine with an image of Lord Buddha is placed.
Inside the yards of Monastery, you can see different statues of Peacock, Elephant, Lions, Garudas, etc.
Not far from here is another beautiful monastery known as ‘Temple of nine thousand Buddhas’.
Note: A small amount is to be paid to enter the Monastery.
Red Machindranath Temple
Red Machindranath temple can also be called Rato Machhindranath temple, which is located in the center of the Tabaha courtyard.
The temple is a pagoda style three story building with a metal roof. The temple holds ten stone columns with different god, goddesses, and animals in each stone at the entrance.
The god is regarded to bring prosperity, rain, and harvest. The chariot festival of Rato Machhindranat starts from this temple that lasts for two long months.
Legend says it is believed that to end the 12 years long dry period this god was bought from Kamarup Kamakshya, Assam of India.
After your small tour through Patan now your next stop is Bhaktapur. Another UNESCO World Heritage site is presented here.
Bhaktapur is an Old Newari town that resides about 13 km away from the capital city. It takes you about 1-2 hours to reach there from Kathmandu.
This city has well-maintained palaces and ancient city centers rich with culture, temples, and artworks made of stone, metal, and wood.
When Malla kingdom was in the rule the city emerged to be the greatest during that time.
The word Bhaktapur means ‘City of Devotees” and it was given the name as it has a lot more temples than Kathmandu and Lalitpur.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is an ancient royal palace of the old kingdom in Bhaktapur. It is consists of four squares i.e. Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square.
This Durbar Square is a collection of pagoda style temples, which has high no. of Hindu God and Goddesses settled here.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is also famous for its Juju Dhau which is a sweet curd. The taste is unique compared to other curds.
It is mostly famous for its 55 window palace which was one throned by royalty in 1769.
It also has a National art gallery that has the Buddhist Paubha scroll paintings, manuscript made up of palm leaves, etc.
55 window palace
The 55 window Palace is also known as Pachpanna Jhyale durbar is a mesmerizing architectural feature in Durbar Square.
The palace was built during the ruling of Bhupendra Malla, one of the Malla kings in 1677 but it was not completed until his son owned the throne in 1754 AD.
It is given its name because it consists of 55 carved wooden windows in its exterior. It is said that the then king had fifty-five wives so he made each wife one window.
The palace is built around a large no. of inner courtyards that are linked with each other. It is believed that there were 99 courtyards during ancient times but now you can only view 9 of them.
Another fascinating site is its main entrance known as “ The Golden Gate”. It was later added by another Malla king Jaya Ranajit Malla during the early seventeenth century.
The entrance is decorated with gold plated metal works which lead to the first courtyard.
The Goddess Vatsala Devi resides in the Vatsala temple, it has marvelous pictures carved in it.
The temple is most famous for its Silver bell which the locals prefer to call “the bell of barking dogs”. It is said that when the bell would ring the dogs used to bark along with its tone.
The Silver bell was hung by King Ranjit Malla so that the citizens would be aware of the daily curfew by its tone.
Every morning during the worshipping of the Goddess Taleju it used to be runged.
Nyatapola Temple is the largest and highest pagoda ever to be built in Nepal. The temple in Newari Language means five stories that symbolize the five basic elements.
The goddess residing inside the temple is Shidhi Laxmi. The temple opens only once a year for the public during the time of Dashain.
Statues that are seen on both sides of the staircases act as the guardian of the temple. However, the base is not that much wider compared to its foundation.
The other name for this temple is Pancha Tale Mandira. This temple was said to be completed after three generations.
I hope you enjoyed the 1 day Patan and Bhaktapur tour created by Nepal Recreation.