Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

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Bhaktapur is an ancient town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century.
Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artwork.

It is the home of traditional art and architecture, historical monuments and craft works, magnificent windows, pottery and weaving industries, excellent temples, beautiful ponds, rich local customs, culture, religion, festivals, musical mystic and so on.

Bhaktapur is a preserved ancient city, and a world to explore for tourists.
From a very long time it lay on the trade route between Tibet and India. This position on the main caravan route made the town rich and prosperous.

Bhaktapur is around 20 km east of Kathmandu and it occupies an area of around 119 km² at an altitude of 1,401 meters above sea-level. Bhaktapur district, in which the Bhaktapur city lies, is the smallest district of Nepal.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a mixture of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces  as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal.

The golden sculptures of the kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, the wood carvings and windows were the best example of a proper planning, and classic place to rule which included a calm and quiet place suitable for meditation and education.

The main items of interest in the Durbar Square are:

The Lion Gate: Dating as far back as 1696 A.D., this gate is guarded on either side by two huge statues of lions. Alongside there are two stone images of Bhairava (the dreadful aspect of Shiva) and ugrachandi (the consort of Shiva in her fearful manifestation)

Lu Dhowka(The Golden Gate): Lu Dhowka(The Golden Gate) is said to be the most beautiful and richly moulded specimen of its kind in the entire world. The door is surmounted by a figure of the goddess Kali and Garuda (mythical man-bird) and attended by two heavenly nymphs.

The Palace of Fifty-five Windows:  This magnificent Palace was built during the reign of King Yaksha Malla in 1427 A.D., and was subsequently remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeenth century. Among the brick walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of fifty-five windows, considered to be a unique masterpiece of woodcarving.

Vatsala Temple: The stone temple of Vatsala Devi also called as Batsala Devi depicts many intricate carvings; however, it is most famous for its bronze bell, known to local residents as "the bell-of barking dogs," as when it is rung, all dogs in the vicinity begin barking and howling.

The Pashupati Temple: This temple is a replica of the famous temple by the Bagmati river in Kathmandu. 

Bhaktapur is also known as city of festivals and celebrations. They celebrate festivals each month starting from new year festival to the Holi puni festival at the end of the year.

Biska jatra(New year festival)
Mother's Day(Mathathirtha Aushi)
Buddha purnima (Buddha puni)
Kumar Khasti(SithiNakha)
Gathamaga charya
Gaijatra(Guni puni)
Father's day (Aushi)
Indra jatra (Pulukishi)
Tihar(Kija puja)
Sakima puni
Dhanya purnima (Yomari puni)
Maghe sankranti (Ghya chaku sankranti)
Shree panchami
Shiva ratri
Holi(Holi puni)

(source : Wikipedia)

The lack of traffic makes walking through Bhaktapur a pleasure and certainly more enjoyable than walking in Kathmandu. The town's cultural life is also vibrant, with centuries-old traditions of craftsmanship and strong communities of potters, woodcarvers and weavers.

Guidelines for Tourists :

1. Entrance cost is 100/- NPR
2. The city is very clean and less polluted. Please maintain this.
3. Bhaktapur , Patan and  Nagarkot are not covered in the local sightseeing trip. One has to go seperately at an extra cost. We stayed at Hotel Siddhartha in Thamel, Kathmandu . The Hotel manager had booked a package trip for the local sightseeing . This was a 2 day Package. On the first day, they cover  Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath , Buddha Nilakanta , Swayambhunath and Kathmandu Darbar square.  Bhaktapur , Patan and Nagarkot will be covered the next day (optional).

Thank You


  1. very nice pictures. i liked the won, whre a couple entering a temple. and a boy cycling. others are also good. nice notes too

  2. Magnificent structures. Lovely captures.

  3. Beautiful pristine temples site! Great post.


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