Patan is located about 5 km south of Kathmandu, on the southern side of the Basmati River and is the third largest city of Nepal. It is also one of 3 royal cities in the Kathmandu valley. It comes under Lalitpur District , the name of which means city of beauty. It is probably one of the oldest Buddhist City in the world. An UNESCO world heritage site, Patan durbar square displays mass of temples and the most visually stunning display of Newari architecture to be seen in Nepal. Built during Malla period (14th to 18th centuries), particularly during the reign of King Siddhinarsingh Malla (1619–60), the magnificent wood carved temples are visual treats you would not want to miss in your visit to Nepal.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar: Also referred to as the Golden Temple, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar was built by King Bhaskar Verma during 12th century. The golden façade of the three-storied Pagoda looks stunningly beautiful. Buddha’s golden images and wall carvings are found inside the temple.
The Lion Gate was erected in 1696 AD. It has two big-sized lion statues on either side. The statues of Lord Shiva and Ugrachandi are compelling attractions of the gate. It is believed that Bhadgaon King cut off artisans’ hands after they completed the artwork to ensure that such work is not repeated elsewhere.
Patan Museum is one of the best museums in the Asian continent. The museum is situated in an ancient palace, which dates back to 1734. The collections in the museum depict the rich cultural history of Nepal. Most of the collections are bronze statues and gilt copper objects. The garden adjacent to the museum offers a pleasant sight and a peaceful resting place. The tickets are 1000NPR for foreigners, 25ONPR for SAARC country citizen and 30 NPR for the Nepali citizens.
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.
Apart from seeing the magnificent structures, the square is studded with multiple souvenir shops and nice cafes . You can shop for singing bowels, pashmina, prayer wheels, statues of Buddha, kukri knives etc. There is a nice rooftop cafe called Cafe du Temple who serve nice Nepalese delights as well as other cuisines. I liked their Chicken with bamboo shoot. Their capital is however is the view of whole durbar square from the roof or through the windows. There are various other places to eat as well.
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