The majority of activities listed on lists of things to do in Patan, Nepal, appear to be limited to visiting each temple in the well-known Durbar Square. Certainly, Patan has some fantastic temples, but it also has a lot more to offer. Lalitpur, whose name combines the words “art” and “city,” is the second-largest city in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepali. According to its name, this city is particularly abundant in Newari sculpture and arts, with many masterpiece embellishments carved in stones, metals, and wood sculptures. In addition to being called “Patan,” this time is also known as “Yala” in the Newari language. The ancient temples, courtyards, and monuments constructed during the Malla period, the golden age of art, may be seen in Lalitpur, which has about 600 Stupas and 185 Bahals. The Patan Durbar Square, which is recognized by UNESCO as a world historic site, is evidence of the superb workmanship and arts created by the Malla civilization.
Patan Durbar Square
The most well-liked tourist destination in Lalitpur is Patan Durbar Square. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is. One of the wonders of Newari architecture is the Darbar square. The entire floor of Darbar Square is tiled in typical Newari fashion with red brick. Throughout the square, there are numerous temples and idols. Beside the palace are the principal temples. Beside the main temple is a large bell. The palace has three main courtyards. Three courtyards are known as MulChowk, SundariChowk, and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Trishahiti, a Royal bath, is the Sundarichowk’s central work of stone building. The palace is now accessible to everyone as a museum.
Unique bronze statues and historic and religious items can be seen in the Patan Museum. It is regarded as one of Asia’s top museums. Krishna temple is a prominent temple erected in the 17th century devoted to Hindu Deity Krishna. With 21 shrines and being entirely made of stone, it is the only temple in Nepal. The three interconnected golden windows at the Bhimsen Temple are its most famous feature, but visitors are not permitted inside. Lord Bhimsen is revered as the god of commerce and business. Lord Siva is honored at the Vishwanatha Temple. Two stone elephants are there to protect it. The TalejuBhawani Temple is devoted to TalejuBhawani, the Malla king’s personal deity.
The Sundari Chowk, one of many courtyards within Patan Durbar Square, is famed for its excellent woodcarvings and handicrafts. This courtyard is referred to as the “Tusa Hiti” in Newari. A waterspout in the center of the courtyard is surrounded by gorgeous idols of various gods and goddesses. A roughly four-foot-tall copy of the Krishna Temple is perched above the faucet. The duplicate of Krishna Mandir is thought to have served as a scale model for the main temple’s construction. A sizable stone bed is close to the stone tap. According to legend, King Siddhi Narsingh Malla used to practise penance by spending the freezing winters sleeping naked on this stone bed and the hot summers building a bonfire around it.
At the Kwabahal Tole in Patan, which is about 200 meters north of Patan Durbar Square, is where you’ll find the Golden Temple. Other names for this temple are Suwarna Mahavihar and Hiranya Varna. In the 12th century, King Bhaskardav constructed it. The temple with a copper-plated front is encircled by a courtyard and its entrance is guarded by two stone elephants. An exquisite statue of Shakyamuni Buddha can be found inside this temple. There is a tiny shrine with a Swayambhunath Chaitya facing the main temple. Lokeshwor Gumba is located inside the courtyard of this temple, which is a remarkable example of courtyard temple architecture.
Even though it’s a little off the usual road, this pond is worth visiting. The temple behind it, Chandeswari Temple, was built in 1663. It’s a wonderful spot to unwind and feed ducks. As locals enter and exit the shrine, it’s also the ideal spot to observe them. It’s best to go early in the day before it becomes too hot outside so you may rest on a bench and take in Patan daily life.
Red Machhindranath Temple
The Rato (red) Machhindranath Temple is situated 200 meters to the west of the Mananath Temple in the Tabaha courtyard. This temple has metal roofing and is built in the form of a three-story pagoda. Ten stone columns depicting different gods, goddesses, and animals stand at the temple’s entrance. The god is also referred to as Bunga Deow in Newari. It is said that Rato Machhindranath is the god of abundance, rain, and harvest. This temple serves as the starting point for Rato Machhindranath’s two-month chariot festival. Every six months, the Rato Machhindranath idol is moved to Bungmati.
A beautiful tiny regional gallery called Gallery Mcube is situated close to Patan Dhoka (the entryway to Patan). Local painters from Nepal are displayed in the gallery. When we arrived, most of the artwork was modern, which was a wonderful break from the traditional artwork that is frequently sold on the sidewalks of tourist destinations. As the artwork is for sale, this would be a great location to locate some lovely things to take home that are distinctive and a little less conventional.
Jawalakhel Handicraft Center
The Tibetan rugs made by the Jawalakhel Handicraft Center are renowned. Nearby Tibetan Refugee Camp, which is connected to the center, is situated across the street. If you’re interested in buying one, you can see the collection and watch the women weave the carpets by hand. A tiny community building with handcrafted trinkets is also there. There is also a section filled with exquisite scarves and shawls made of yak wool. As the proceeds from souvenir sales support refugee aid, even small donations go a long way.
Visiting Mangal Bazar
A street lined with regional goods may be found on the southeast corner of Patan Durbar Square. Everything is available, from traditional attire and spices to metal dining sets. The street is lively and lovely, with locals buying whatever they require for their homes. Also, it’s a fantastic place to find unique items like genie lamps, Buddha statues, and vibrant fabrics. The rates aren’t as expensive as in popular tourist destinations, which is the best part.