The Kathmandu Valley is home to three historic cities: Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur’s name, which combines the words “devotees” and “city,” refers to a place of pilgrimage and religion. Because of this, Bhaktapur is known as the “city of devotees.” There is no question that at one point in time, there were more temples and gods present than there were people and roofs. This city is organized into three squares, each of which is crammed with temples and other religious buildings, and is situated around 12 kilometers from Kathmandu, the country’s capital. However, there is an NPR 1500 municipal entry charge that visitors must pay in order to enter this town. This contributes to the upkeep of the temples in Bhaktapur.
History of Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur is revered for its historical significance. It was founded in the 12th century by King Ananda Malla and served as the capital of the Malla Kingdom around the 15th century. It was occupied by the Newari ethnicity, which is reflected in the architecture and pagodas across the city. Bhaktapur was taken over by the Shas from Gorkha after the 15th century, and it was famous for its Mall Yoddha (combat between wrestlers). The temples scattered across Bhaktapur reflect the city’s heritage.
Places to visit and things to do
Bhaktapur was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Many temples and monuments were severely damaged or destroyed. Bhaktapur, on the other hand, is an outstanding city of living heritage, and the majority of the temples and heritage buildings have been renovated. Bhaktapur’s four main squares are Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the city’s main (and largest) square. It is home to the Royal Palace as well as a plethora of magnificent temples and monuments.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
The Durbar Square in Bhaktapur is universally recognized as the city’s main attraction. It is home to temples, palaces, and statues, as well as stunning architecture with ornate wood carvings, stone art, metal art, and terracotta art. The artistry alone is a great illustration of Kathmandu Valley Newari culture. The entrance cost of 1500 rupees ($15) is a little steep, but the ticket is valid for a week and permits you to leave and re-enter the temple. If you produce a copy of your passport, visa, and a passport photo, you can acquire an official pass that allows free re-entry for months.
Local food and wine tasting:
The community members beyond the newas as well as other individuals enjoy Newari cuisine. Try the Newari cuisine and wine if you’re in Bhaktapur. The manufacturing of wine is not a solitary activity here. Despite this, they still make it at home. In the native Newari language, the wine is referred to as “aela.” A typical meal is adorned with flattened rice, meat, vegetables, a fried egg, and roasted soybeans in Newari cuisine, which combines only organic components. The cuisine and rich culture of the Newa people are great blessings. On the occasion of several feasts and festivals, the Newa family prepares almost 200 meals. So, foodies, Bhaktapur not only greets the appreciation of its cuisine with a garland in hand but also with delectable food and drink.
De-stress with pottery making session:
In the pottery square, one artist explains, “You have to do it to know it. In Bhaktapur, there are two pottery squares: Talako Potter Square lies to the south of the durbar square, while the other is in the Dattatreya Temple. The rows of grey clay pots that soak up the sun to dry in the area are well-known. Customers can choose from the freshly prepared items or get something made to order right away! You can even practice producing clay pots with your own two hands. Getting a little messy can take care of traffic jams, a difficult day at work, or even a nasty brawl. Making pottery is simple once you get the hang of it. To begin, cup your hands around the clay, and then use your fingers to poke a hole through the center. At the same time, internal pressure must be applied. And there it is—right in front of you—the construction of a pot with a respectable shape.
Jatras, where a large number of festival goers congregate to celebrate, is sort of the festival’s face. Large and small jatras are welcomed in Bhaktapur at least once per month. Between mid-April and the end of August, Bhaktapur is full of surprises. The Biska Jatra is a celebration when slang is developed and weakened for good luck. Similar to this, the Gai Jatra is a celebration meant to create a hilarious atmosphere and is held in the middle of April and August. These are some of Bhaktapur’s largest jatras. Offering to participate in these jatras while in Bhaktapur. The majority of Newa people come from an agricultural background, hence they celebrate jatras when they enjoy various feasts, music, and dancing in order to forget all their hardships and pains.
Around here, the renowned “King Curd” of Bhaktapur is curdled. From Dattatreya Square, take the winding walkway to Bolache, where you may order Juju Dhau. In mud bowls produced in the pottery square, this well-known yogurt is served. Yogurt has a long history in Nepali culture, traditions, rituals, and religions in addition to being utilized in food. For instance, on days of religious fasting, Nepalis consume yogurt to purify themselves. It is also eaten as a lucky food just before leaving the house. For significant occasions, a fresh container of yogurt is placed by the entrances since many people think it brings luck.
Wood carved furniture:
There are numerous stores offering various types of carved furniture across Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The furnishings showcase Nepali culture’s ancient traditions. You might even catch a glimpse of an artisan at work if you’re lucky. The current and the past collide at Bhaktapur. All the more so in a small town that seamlessly combines the best of both worlds’ beauty. Through the crafts of woodcarving, brass-making, and pottery-making, certain traditions are preserved.
Shopping at Bhaktapur:
The finest part of every trip is definitely the shopping and gathering of mementos. especially when we need to purchase particular products. Right? And Bhaktapur is a sort of shopping mecca that provides some of the most distinctive trinkets in all of Nepal. You can purchase items such as clay crafts, carpets, handmade Nepali clothing, Haku patasi (a typical Newari attire with a red border on a black sari), thangka paintings, Dhaka topis, and many other things. The fact that you can negotiate is the best aspect of this.