- Encounters with locals
- Place or Religious Monument
- Castle and fortress
- Place or Historical Monument
Also known as Lalitpur, Patan is a former royal city in the Kathmandu Valley. Having a stroll around its paved streets is the best way to enjoy its ancient charm and makes for a great day out during a trip to Nepal. Personally, I really enjoyed wandering around Patan. Its Durbar Square is lively and the architecture stunning. The square aside, Patan is littered with monasterys and temples. There are so many that the town is referred to as the 'the town with a thousand golden roofs'. Most of the temples are Buddhist, due to the strong influence of this religion across the ages. Patan is a still a major pilgrimage site.
Patan has also managed to preserve its ancient crafts. It's a great place to shop for souvenirs. The market has good quality handicrafts but they tend to be pricey, so I suggest you buy directly from local workshops. They're spread all over town so are easy to find.
*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.
During my trip to Nepal I quickly realised that every town has a Durbar Square. Each time, its the most lively and beautiful spot, be it from a cultural or architectural point of view. It's certainly the case for Patan where a visit to Durbar Square is a must.
With the choice of a dozen or so temples on the square, make sure you visit the Golden Temple, the most stunning of them all. Shiva's Temple and the Temple of 9,000 Buddhas are also magnificent. After touring the Rudravarna Mahavihara Buddhist monastery, I rounded off my visit with a stop at Patan's most grandiose monument, the Royal Palace. It runs down the entire length of Durbar Square and, even if you don't visit anything else in Patan, this is a must-see. Once inside, the Patan Museum exhibits are fascinating. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Rather than heading straight back to Kathmandu, I suggest you stay a while to enjoy the music and dancing that takes place. A great time in a great setting.
*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events took place
Durbar Square in Patan is one of Nepal's most beautiful monuments. Situated on a large square, opposite the former royal place, there are numerous temples which warrant their designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among other monuments in the Kathmandu valley. Taking a walk among these buildings allows you to draw a picture in your mind of the cultural richness of Nepal, which makes Patan's Durbar Square a key stop in any trip to Nepal.
There are many temples to see, but these are the ones I was particularly drawn in by: The beautiful Krishna temple (which has a very particular design), the Hari Shankar temple (and its magnificent sculptures), the Krishna Mandir temple opposite the Garuda statue, and the Bhimsen temple (built over two floors).
*After the powerful earthquakes which hit Nepal in April and May 2015, the country is slowly rebuilding itself. This article was written before the disaster.
The town of Patan, as with Kathmandu, is famous for its Durbar Square, a site that has its own, particular character. Surrounded by temples and brick or wooden pagodas, every nook and cranny depicts a multi-limbed Hindu god or laughing Buddha. But Patan isn't all about Durbar Square; it houses plenty of other delights. As you'll have gathered, most of it is covered by temples...
Without listing them all, here are my favourites: the Mahabouddha Temple with its immense tower (AKA the Temple of 9,000 Buddhas), the Hiranya Varna Mahavihar or Golden Temple and, finally, the Machchhendranath Temple situated on the southern side of Durbar Square. But that doesn't mean the others aren't worth the while! A trip to Patan during a holiday in Nepal, is a chance to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage that this country has to offer.
*After the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April and May 2015 the country is slowly getting back on its feet. This article was written before these catastrophic events occurred.
All around are temples, monuments, surprise inner courtyards, pigeons flying through air scented by incense and Hindu rituals...
When we pause at a Nepalese bar for a cup of tea, we certainly get the feeling that the owners of the place aren't in the habit of welcoming foreigners into their shop. However, Patan is a tourist area, with infrastructure in place for that purpose. Durbar Square is very lively. There you'll find the royal palace alongside many other temples, notably the Golden Temple and its tortoises keeping watch, its rats playing amongst the Buddhas, and cats lounging on prayer cushions.
The Patan Museum is also very interesting, built from wood, bronze and other materials. It relates to both Buddhism and Hinduism. We're not sure if we understand much of it, but at least we're made further aware - if it was even necessary - of the the complexity of the religions which stand shoulder to shoulder in Nepal.
*After the massive earthquakes which struck Nepal in April and May 2015, the country has rebuilt itself little by little. This article was written before the catastrophe.