Lalitpur (Patan)

Just across the holy Bagmati river stands another ancient city called Lalitpur. A twenty-minute cab ride from Kathmandu city, Lalitpur is a charming city which has still retained its tranquil ambience. Walking down the quiet, narrow streets of the city, you would come across traditional building, exquisite temples and tiny shops of Lalitpur artists, metalworkers, wood workers and stonecutters. The city is indeed renowned for its fine craftmanship.

Major Tourist Attractions

Bungamati & Khokana

Four kilometers immediately south of the Tibetan Refugee Camp in Jawalakhel are the enchanting 16th Century Newari towns of Bungamati and Khokana. These are two settlements in the Kathmandu Valley that have been east affected by modern changes and are worth a visit.

Patan Durbar Square

The square, situated in the heart of the city, consists of enchanting melange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. The former royal palace complex is the center of Patan's religious and social life and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. There are three main courtyards or chowks, so named central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk in the square. The Sundari Chowk holds in its center a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal bath called Tushahity.

Krisnhna Mandir

Krishna Mandir is Nepal's finest piece of stone architecture. Siddhi Narsingh, a passionate devotee of Krishna, built this temple in the 17th century when he dreamed Krishna and Radha being union at this spot. This magnificent temple is a delicate, airy creation which defies its heavy material. The first storey of the temple consists of scenes from the Hindu holy book Mahabharat; the second storey pavilions are banded by friezes from the Ramayana. Atop a stone pillar in front, a brilliantly executed large metal Garuda (the bird on which Lord Krishna rides) kneels in homage.

Mahabouddha

A little further east from the southern end of Durbar Square and then turning right at the sunken water taps lies this Buddhist monument. The temple, made of clay bricks with thousands of images of Lord Buddha engraved, is an excellent example of terra cotta art form. The terra-cotta structure is one of the fourteen-century Nepalese architectural masterpieces.

Kwa Bahal "Golden Temple"

This Buddhist monastery is a three storey golden pagoda of Lokeshwor (Lord Buddha). The monastery, built in the 12th century by King Bhaskar Verma, is embellished with exceptionally fine woodcarvings and repousse work. Inside the upper storey of the pagoda, there are the golden image of Lord Buddha and a large prayer wheel. It is a five-minute walk west and north from the northern end of Durbar Square.

Kumbeshwor

The five-storey pagoda of Kumbeshwor is one of the oldest temple of Patan. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was orginally constructed in 1392 as a two storied shrine, but later in the 17th century Srinivasa Malla added the upper three tiers of the temple. Hence this is one of the Valley's two five-storied temples (the other is Bhaktapur's Nyatpola). The two ponds here (Konti) are believed to be connected by a subterranean channel to the holy Gosaikund lake, which lies several days' walk north of Kathmandu. On the festival of Janai Purnima (usually the August full moon) thousand devotees of Lord Shiva come to worship the embossed silver sheath worn by the temple's sacred linga (phallic symbol), which is placed in a special pavilion in the middle of the tank in the hub of temple.

On the southern side of the temple complex is the single storey shrine of goddess Baglamukhi with green painted woodwork. The goddess Baglamukhi is embodied in a tiny image beneath an elaborate silver torona and canopy of snakes. Baglamukhi is considered as the wish-fulfilling goddess. Many devotees visit the temple with hopes that their wishes get rewarded and fulfilled by goddess Baglamukhi at one point of their life. The temple is unusually crowded by many devotees on every Thursdays of the weeks.

The Ashokan Stupas

Emperor Ashoka of India visited Nepal in 250 B.C and built four ancient stupas at the four corners of Patan. The four stupas are situated in Pulchowk, Lagankhel, Ebahi and in Teta (way to Sano Gaon) respectively. These stupas give evidence to the city's ancient religious importance.

Achheswor Mahavihar

It was founded towards the beginning of the 17th century. The Mahavihar has recently been reconstructed and it commands a beautiful view of the Kathmandu Valley. It is located behind the Ashokan Stupa at Pulchowk.

Temple of Machhendranath and Minnath

The pagoda of Red Machhendranath was built in 1408 AD and is situated in Tabahal. For six months the deity is taken to its other shrine in Bunmati. The temple of Minnath is situated in Tangal on the way to Tabahal.

The Central Zoo

Situated at Jawalakhel, the zoo has many animals, birds and reptiles in its collections mostly representing the Himalayan fauna. There is a beautiful pond built in 17th AD. One can go for boating in this pond. It opens daily except Mondays, from 10am to 4pm.

Patan Industrial State

It is situated at Lagankhel near Sat Dobato in Patan. This industrial estate is well known for Nepali handicrafts such as woodcarvings, metal crafts carpets and thangka paintings. For the convenience of the tourists, there is a shopping arcade where all the handicraft products of the estate are exhibited in the shopping arcade.

Tibetan Refugee Camp

The camp was established in 1960 under the initiative of the International Red Cross and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), in cooperation with His Majesty's Government of Nepal. Its main objective is to help the Tibetan refugees to do something productive and support themselves. You can purchase beautiful Tibetan Carpets in this camp.

Bajra Barahi 

Situated in a small woodland park, it is around 10 km south of Patan near the village of Chapagaon. A visit to Tika Bhairav and Lele from here is worthwhile.

Godavari Royal Botanical Garden

Situated at the foothills of Phulchowki, this Royal Botanical Garden has a splendid natural beauty. The road from Patan City runs to Godavari to the southeast, passing through the small, old towns of Harsisiddhi, Thaiba and Bedegaun. The garden opens daily including Saturdays and government holidays.

National Library

It is located insided Harihar Bhavan in Pulchowk, Patan. The library contains about 70,000 books, most of which in English with remaining rest in Sanskrit, Nepali, Hindi and Nepalbhasa. The library preserves some rare scholary books in Sanskrit and English dating from the 17th century.

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