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.
||South to the Bagmati River in Kathmandu Valley
||Rich Cultural Heritage
||Kathmandu and Bhaktpur
» 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 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, 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 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 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:
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.
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