Patan at a glance, Nepal
By Holiday Dragons
Once a fiercely independent city-state, Patan is now a suburb of Kathmandu, Many locals still call the city by its original Sanskrit name of Lalitpur (City of Beauty) or by its Newari name, Yala. Almost everyone who comes to Kathmandu also visits Patan’s spectacular Durbar Sq – even after the 2015 earthquake, this remains the finest collection of temples and palaces in the whole of Nepal.Patan Durbar Square is situated at the centre of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. It is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of its attraction is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided.
The Durbar Square is a marvel of Newar architecture. The square floor is tiled with red bricks. There are many temples and idols in the area. The main temples are aligned opposite of the western face of the palace.
Places to Visit
Patan Durbar Square was once a palace square for the ruling Kings. The architecture of the historical period can be seen in this square. The windows and doors along with various stone & metal work seen in Durbar Square shows the shift of ancient technologies.
Keshab Narayan Chowk Museum is a small expensive museum with interesting artifacts having significant historical values.
Golden Temple is an ancient temple covered in gold, silver and bronze ornaments which has a religious significance to the local customs. A separate entrance fee of 50 rupees is charged for the entree.
Kumbheshwar Temple is an impressive five-story pagoda temple. The architecture style of the temple would still awe the modern visitors.
Rudravarna Mahavihar / Uku Bahal is one of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in Nepal. The historical significance of this monastery to the local communities is very vast.
Mahaboudha Temple is a stone temple with over 1000 images of Buddha dedicated to the rain god. It is believed that worshiping Machchhendranath during droughts would bring abundance of rain necessary for plantation.
House of the Kumari hosts the courtyard and house of Patan’s Living Goddess the Kumari. Nepal is one of the unique countries that worships young girls as living goddess. Goddess Kumari has a great following specially among the Newari residents of Kathmandu.
Patan has several festivals throughout the year that are largely Newari based. Cultural bonding created by these festivals also known as jatras is very prominent. The festivals and jatras draw a large number of people in community together. It can get very crowded due to narrow streets during the festivals. A good choice would be to have lunch on a balcony on one of the restaurants around Patan Durbar Square. This way you avoid the crowds but get to look over everything. These festivals would provide travellers a unique perspective while travelling/ Visiting Nepal.
Shopping Patan has a large number of local shops selling from eatables, antiques, paintings and curio shops. These shops are a great source of travel souvenirs and gifts.