is in many ways the most medieval of the three major cities in the Kathmandu
valley. Much of its glorious architecture dates from the end of the 17th
century. The city is famous for its pagoda-style architecture. Tourists are
more often attracted to the Hindu temples, pottery crafts, colourful markets
and lively people of Bhaktapur.
||14 km east of Kathmandu
||Bhadgaon or Khwopa
||Cultural and artistic achievements
||Four square miles
||Kathmandu and Patan
Places to Visit
- Bhaktapur, as the names suggests, is a holy city with pagoda-style
- Bhaktapur is the third largest city in the Kathmandu valley.
- Bhaktapur is also known by woodcarving artists, for it's cap known as
Bhadgaon Topi, and for it's curd known by Nepalese as the `Bhaktapur ko
Dahe' (meaning Curd made in Bhaktapur).
- The markets in the city are very lively and colourful.
As you walk in, you cannot but be overcome by a feeling of inner harmony.
Such is the art and architecture and the spacial layout here. The
15th-century Palace of 55 Windows, situated to the left as you enter through
the city gate, inspires admiration. The National Art Gallery is also housed
inside. The palace entrance, the Golden Gate, is a masterpiece in repousse
art. In front of the palace building is a medley of temples of various
designs. There is an entrance fee of Rs. 30 for SAARC nationals and Rs. 500
for other foreign visitors.
It lies to the east of Durbar Square reached by a narrow brick-paved lane.
The towering five-roofed Nyatapol temple presides over the square. The
monument gracefully soars into the sky atop a five-story plinth. The
stairway leading up to the temple is flanked by stone figures of deities and
mythical beasts, each 10 times more powerful than the one immediately below.
It takes its name from the Dattatreya temple dedicated to a three-headed
combination of the Hindu deities Brahma, Bishnu and Shiva. If you want to
experience the feel of the traditional urban layout of Bhaktapur, Dattatreya
Square is it. Set in a maze of streets lined with richly ornamented houses,
the square is famed for its many ornate Hindu monasteries known as Math. The
National Woodworking Museum is also housed here. The Brass and Bronze Museum
is across the street.
A two-minute walk south of Durbar Square brings you to Bolachhen, also
known as Potters Square because of the many potters seen here moulding
wet clay into different kinds of earthen ware. It has a display of fresh
pottery left out to dry in the open square. This place can be approached
from Taumadhi Square also. The elephant-headed Lord Ganesh is the patron of
potters, thus the Jeth Ganesh temple in the square.
Siddha Pukhu, a pond dating back to the Lichhavi period, is better known as
Ta-Pukhu, meaning big pond. Though situated right at the bus stop, it
provides a serene atmosphere with its sashaying fish and the stone images of
different Hindu and Buddhist gods.
Surya Binayak is one of Kathmandus most popular pilgrimage spots.
Situated in a thick forest to the south of Bhaktapur, it is a 20-minute walk
from the trolley bus terminal. The temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity
Ganesh, is crowded with devotees especially on Tuesdays and Saturdays.