Bhaktapur – cultural city
Bhaktapur is a city in the eastern part of Nepal that is known for its rich culture and history. It is located about 13 kilometres from Kathmandu and is one of the three royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is a popular tourist destination and is known for its rich cultural and artistic heritage. It is home to many ancient temples, palaces, and squares. Bhaktapur is a popular destination for tourists, who come to see its stunning architecture, traditional handicrafts, and vibrant festivals.
Here are some of the top things to see in Bhaktapur:
1. Durbar Square: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the centre of Bhaktapur’s cultural and historical life. It is home to several iconic buildings, including the 55-Window Palace, the Golden Gate, and the Nyatapola Temple. Visitors can also see a number of traditional handicrafts being made, including woodcarving and pottery.
2. The Palace of 55 Windows: This is a beautifully crafted palace that is located in Durbar Square. It is known for its intricate wood carvings and the 55 windows that are carved into the walls.
3. The Golden Gate: This is a beautiful gate that is located in Durbar Square. It is adorned with intricate carvings and made of wood and bronze.
4. Taumadhi Square: This square is home to the famous Nyatapola Temple, which is considered one of the tallest temples in Nepal and is known for its intricate carvings and religious significance. It is also home to other significant temples and shrines, such as the Bhairavnath Temple and the Pujarimath Temple.
5. Dattatreya Temple: This temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Dattatreya, who is considered the embodiment of the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. It is an important religious site for Hindus and is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture.
6. The Bhaktapur Durbar Museum: This museum is located in Durbar Square and houses a collection of ancient artifacts and artworks.
7. Pottery Square: Bhaktapur is known for its traditional pottery, and visitors can see potters at work in Pottery Square. It is a great place to watch the pottery-making process and to purchase locally handmade pottery.
8. Peacock Window: The Peacock Window is a famous architectural feature in Bhaktapur, known for its intricate carvings and beautiful designs. It is located in the 55-Window Palace and is considered one of the most beautiful windows in Nepal.
9. The Siddha Pokhari: This is a large pond that is located in the centre of Bhaktapur. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and is a great place to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the city.
And when you are in Bhaktapur, you should try the local delicacy known as “juju dhau,” which translates to “king of curd” in the local language. Juju dhau is a creamy, slightly sour yogurt made from water buffalo milk. This popular dessert is enjoyed by both locals and tourists and can be easily found at street stalls and markets throughout the city.
Patan – city of artisans
Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is another city located in the Kathmandu Valley. It is known for its rich cultural and artistic heritage and is home to many temples, squares, and palaces. The city is famous for its traditional handicrafts, particularly metalwork and woodcarving. Some of the top attractions in Patan include:
1. Patan Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the centre of Patan’s cultural and historical life. It is home to many iconic buildings, including the Royal Palace, the Krishna Temple, and the Golden Temple.
2. Krishna Temple – a temple that is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture.
3. Golden Temple – a Buddhist monastery that has a gold-plated roof and beautiful wall paintings. Visitors can see monks performing traditional rituals and chanting in the temple.
4. Hiranya Varna Mahavihar – this Buddhist monastery is known for its beautiful golden stupa. Visitors can learn about the history and teachings of Buddhism here.
5. Mahabouddha Temple – a temple made entirely of terracotta bricks that is known for its intricate carvings and detailed artwork. It is believed to have been built in the 15th century.
6. Rato Machhendranath Temple – a temple dedicated to the god of rain and fertility, is one of the most important temples in Nepal. It is located in the centre of the city and is an important site for both Hindus and Buddhists.
7. Patan Museum – a great place to learn about the history and culture of Patan. It houses a collection of ancient artifacts and artworks, including metalwork and woodcarvings.
These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Patan. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or religion, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city.
Other posts in the Nepal travelogue:
1. Nepal – travel guidelines
2. Kathmandu – city of Newars
3. Bhaktapur – cultural city & Patan – city of artisans
4. Pokhara – the adventure capital of Nepal
5. Tansen – a charming hill town
6. Lumbini – birthplace of the Lord Buddha