Patan, Nepal

Patan (or Lalitpur) is located on the south side of the Bagmati River, practically merging with the capital. This is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a huge number of attractions. Therefore, the name of the city of Lalitpur, officially accepted at the present time, means “city of beauty.”

Patan has far fewer hotels, restaurants and tourists than Kathmandu. But Durbar Square is no less interesting than the capital: there are more temples, fewer people.

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How to get there

It is very easy to get to Patan, since the distance from the Thamel district in Kathmandu to the city is only 5 km, you can take a bus, which, however, will not enter the city due to too narrow streets. And you can also take a walk.

Entertainment and attractions

A feature of Patan’s architecture is a system of squares hidden from prying eyes behind the facades of houses that protect their peace and privacy. Patios are a song: you can pick juicy outlandish fruits from fruit trees, drink cold water from a well, which immediately winks with a gleaming eye, but the main sanctuary of the courtyard is a small temple, the so-called family “penates”.

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Durbar Square

Center of the city – the temple area is framed by stalls with flowers and fruits. These are ritual sacrifices, with which you need to enter the temples. Durbar Square is busy from morning to evening, the reason is the unique former royal palace and about ten temples dedicated to various deities. Along the perimeter of the roofs of the royal palace there are dozens of wooden deities and Indian heroes, many-armed and many-headed, painted with white, red, green and blue paint, bright and colorful.

Donations are accepted by a small granite monkey with a cup, where tourist coins fall, ringing.

The neighbor of the palace is the tower-shaped temple of Krishna Mandir, which is attractive with relief carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Among the narrow alleys, a stupa rises – the main reason for enthusiastic tourist comments.

Temples of Patan

As for the holy places, overshadowed by the unspoken presence of the Buddha, Patan is buried in temples: for example, the Golden Temple, it is not so easy to find among densely built houses. And it’s worth finding: walls trimmed with gilded bronze, ancient statues of deities inlaid with precious stones, the temple has its own tower.

Another Hiranya Varna Machavichar temple is a Buddhist sanctuary, framed by prayer wheels, illuminated by numerous bowls-lamps, in which the fire is maintained by guards. If you exit the Golden Temple and turn left, after 3 minutes you will find yourself in front of the majestic 5-tier shikhara Kumbheshwar (“Shikhara” means “peak”) – a temple of Indian origin, built in the form of a steeply rising shikhara tower. It’s always crowded here.

Patan is a city of contrasts. The purely Buddhist shrine of Mahabudha feels absolutely calm next to the synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism of the Buddhist monastery Rudravarna Mahabihar.

Hindu temple Ratnahar hides a statue of 4 king cobras. Worship of the Nagas (serpents) is an ancient cult among the Nepalese and the Indians. The Buddhist monastery Aksheswor Mahabihar attracts the eye with the most luxurious stupa, which forms a triangle with two other famous “big-eyed” stupas of Kathmandu: Swayambhunath and Boudhanath stupa.

4 things to do in Patan

  1. Get to the special celebrations that take place in Hiranya Varna Machavichar during the festival in honor of Mahendranath (god of abundance and fertility).
  2. In numerous “shops of antiquities” buy copies of engravings of the 19th century. with the image of the Palace Square.
  3. See 4 stupas of King Ashoka, placed on the borders of the future Patan in the 3rd century. BC e. The stupas are oriented to the cardinal points, while once the fifth stupa stood in the center of the city, but now it no longer exists.
  4. Buy a glorious Tibetan carpet in Javlakhel, in the eastern part of the capital.

Patan, Nepal