Patan - The Beautiful City

Posted by Leon , October 2018

Located just 30 minutes by car south of the touristic hotspot that is Thamel is the historical Patan. Patan is the third biggest city in Nepal and the district headquarter of the Lalitpur district. However, with the rapid expansion of Kathmandu it the two cities are bound together. Patan is part of the oldest cities in the Kathmandu valley and some say that the city was built in 299 BC. Patan has a lot to offer with its beautiful Durbar square and is the main attraction for tourists. The Durbar square is surrounded by many different temples and the world famous Patan museum. From Thamel, I negotiated about the price for a taxi and finally made my way to Patan. Arriving in Patan, I didn’t know if I was in the right place since there were a few empty streets and almost every shop was closed. I wondered if it had to do with the fact that it was a Saturday, which is the only resting day in Nepal, or if my taxi driver had dropped me off in the wrong place. I walked a bit further and was relieved when I saw the entrance of the Durbar square. I noticed that since it was a Saturday, many residents of Patan went to hang out and relax around the Durbar square and observed how the tourist took their pictures and wandered around. The Patan Durbar square is a marvel of Newar architecture and because of its heritage and cultural importance listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Foreigners need to pay entry fees but I was happily surprised when I found out that an entry ticket for the Patan museum, which is located in the old palace, was included in the price. After paying the entry fees, we followed the stone pavement and saw the temples restoration work going which were destroyed by 2015 earthquake. The Krishna Mandir and Bhimsen temple are two of the important temples around the Durbar Square. Each of them had their own distinct architecture designs as Krishna Mandir pillar carving depicts the tales of "Mahabharat" & "Ramayan" whereas the wood carving in Bhimsen temple was also splendid. Our tour guide told us about the history and stories of the temples as roam around the square.  We also visited the Patan Museum which displays many ancient artifacts and also the royal courtyard of the Kings. The architecture and cultural heritage are overwhelming in and around this Durbar square and it an absolute must when visiting Nepal. 

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