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Patan Travel

The City of Fine Arts

Patan CityThe ancient city of Patan is known as the city of fine arts. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments.The diversity of the medieval culture that allowed both Hinduism and Buddhism to flourish has left a rich legacy of impressive sightseeing in this city for today's visitors.

Fast facts
Location South to the Bagmati River in Kathmandu Valley
Official Name Lalitpur
Significance Rich Cultural Heritage
Area 16 Km2
Latitude 27°40'22.91" N
Longitude 85°25'40.28"E
Tourism Language English
Nearby Cities Kathmandu and Bhaktpur


Striking Features
» The water conduits, stone spouts, Jaladroni (water tanks), artistic gateways, Hindu temples and Buddhist Vihars adorn the city.
» Patan Durbar Square is one of the seven monument zones of Kathmandu Valley. The seven monument zones were included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1979 as one integrated site.
» The city was initially designed in the shape of the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness).
» There are a lot of temples and vihars in the city.
» Most of the Nepalese art of any form is devoted to Gods.

Places to Visit
Patan Durbar Square
Situated in the heart of the city, it constitutes the focus of visitors' attraction. The Square is full of ancient palaces, temples and shrines, noted for their exquisite carvings. The Patan Durbar square consists of three main chowks or court- yards, the Central Mul Cowk, Sundaru Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. The Sundari Chowk holds in its centre a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal bath called Tushahity.

Iba Bahi
Iba Bahi is situated about a two-minute walk south of Durbar Square. It is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the Kathmandu Valley and reflects the sophisticated architecture of the Malla period. A two-step platform leads to the courtyard with a hall called Dalan. There is a shrine dedicated to Shakyamuni right across the entrance.

Kwa Bahal
Kwa Bahal, also known as the Golden Temple, is a Buddhist monastery courtyard dating to the 12th century. It is a five-minute walk west and north from the northern end of Durbar Square. The monastery building is embellished with exceptionally fine wood-carvings and repousse work. Artistic images are scattered around the courtyard, and devotees can be seen offering worship at the many shrines here. Entrance fee Rs. 25.

Mahabouddha
Mahabouddha can be reached by walking east from the southern end of Durbar Square and then turning right at the sunken water taps. This Buddhist monument is an excellent example of terra cotta art form which points to the skill of Patan's ancient craftsmen with a variety of building styles. The 14th-century monument's design is also unusual in a city of pagoda roofs.

Oku Bahal
Oku Bahal is situated a few steps past Mahabouddha and is one of the best known Buddhist places of worship in Patan. The stone-paved courtyard is enclosed by a two-story building with gilded roofs. The wood-carvings on the roof struts are especially attractive. The place is peppered with sacred images and other small shrines.

The Central Zoo
The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel is a pleasant diversion after a tour of the cultural sights. It contains about 106 species of birds and over 665 different animals. There is also a pond where you can go boating. Open daily except Mondays from 10 am to 5 pm. Entrance for foreign visitors costs Rs. 60 (Rs. 25 for children under 10). Elephant ride costs Rs. 100 (Tel: 528324).

Tibetan Refugee Camp
Tibetan Refugee Camp was set up in 1960 under the initiative of the International Red Cross and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), then known as Swiss Association for Technical Assistance (SATA), in cooperation with His Majesty's Government of Nepal. Its main objective is to help the Tibetan refugees to do something productive and support themselves.

Patan Museum
The Patan Museum displays the traditional sacred art of Nepal in an illustrious architectural setting. Its home is an old residential court of Patan Darbar, one of the royal palaces of the former Malla kings of the Kathmandu Valley. Its gilded door and window face one of the most beautiful squares in the world.

Nice to Know
There are many legends after the name Lalitpur. The most popular one is the legend of the God Rato Machhindranath, who was brought to the valley from Kamaru Kamachhya, located in Assam, India, by a group of three people representing three kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley. One of them was called Lalit, a farmer who carried God Rato Machhindranath to the valley all the way from Assam, India. The purpose of bringing the God Rato Machhindranath to the valley was to overcome the worst drought in the valley. There was a strong belief that the God Rato Machhindranath will make rain in the valley. It was due to Lalit's effort that the God Rato Machhindranath was settled in Lalitpur. Many believe that the name of the town is kept after his name Lalit and pur meaning township
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