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Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur

Jay Glicksman

Nepal is one of the best sightseeing destination on the planet. The capital city of Kathmandu is the most popular center for sightseeing. The Himalayan views, the culture and traditions, the historical architectures, its people and a lot more myths and mysteries which are a part of the daily life of the people of Nepal. Kathmandu, which is also the capital city of Nepal, is the first arrival point for most visitors. This small valley surrounded by mountains is divided into the three major towns of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. These were once three small kingdoms and to this day retain their own rich artistic styles and traditions.

Places of Interest in Nepal


Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square

Durbar Square means 'Palace Courtyard' where the king of Kathmandu once lived. The Square is the complex of palaces, courtyards and temples that are built between the 12th and the 18th centuries by the ancient Malla Kings of Nepal.

It is one of the World Heritage Sites. Clustered around Durbar Square are the old Royal Palace which has been converted into a well-equipped museum. Taleju Temple, Kal Bhairab (God of Destruction), Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and the Jagnnath Temple and numerous other beautiful temples are some of the interesting things to see in this Square. The main palace building is nine storied high and anyone can visit to the top and experience a panoramic view of the city.

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Patan Durbar Square

The ancient city is situated on the southern bank of the river Bagmati and is about five kms southeast of Kathmandu. Patan Durbar Square is a concentrated mass of temples, the most stunning display of Newari architecture to be seen in Nepal. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan's religious and social life, and houses a museum contain a array of bronze statues and religious objects. oted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is known as the city of artists. Patan is the oldest of the three ancient city-kingdoms of the Kathmandu valley which once ruled by the mallas. Patan is still populated mostly by Newars, two-thirds of them being Buddhist.

The square boasts of many famous sites and unique architecture. Krishna Mandir in the Patan Durbar Square was built to honor an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna fought by the side of the Pandavs in the Mahabharat war to assure that truth would prevail. This temple is the best example of stone architecture in Nepal. Scenes from the Mahabharat, Asia's greatest mythological war, are carved on the temple's wall. The Bhimsen Temple which honors Bhim - great wrestler, brother of the Pandavs, and a deity to Nepalese businessmen - contains fine samples of metal craft. The best place, however, to see metal sculpture is the Hiranya Varna Mahabihar, the "Golden Temple". It is a Newar monastery which contains wall painting , fourteenth century statues, and scriptures.

Other sites including the Mahabouddha Temple and Uku Bahal are only a few minutes walk away from the square. The streets in this area are home to metal sculptors of the present day. Many more temples dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, Shiva, Narsingha, Taleju, and others are situated in the Patan Durbar Square.

 

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is much larger and more spacious than Kathmandu's and much less crowded with temples than Patan's. The disasterous earthquake in 1934 destroyed many of the beautiful monuments in the square and it is now marked only by empty platforms where they once stood.

Today it covers an area of four square miles and is flanked by Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers. The palace complex in the middle of the city portrays the prosperity of the Malla years and the details at which the craftspeople then worked. The Palace of Fifty-five Windows stands in the square and it was home to many kings of Bhaktapur. They even ruled over Kathmandu and Patan from the twelfth century to the 14th century. Among the other monuments in Bhaktapur are the big bell, the Golden Gate, the five-tiered temple of Nyatapola, the Bhairab Temple, and the Dattatreya Square with its woodcarving and metalwork museums. Surrounded by beautiful farming area, the traveler to Bhaktapur will easily fall in love with the city.

 

Pashupatinath:

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. The richly ornamented pagoda houses the sacred phallic symbol. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River beside the temple. This is one of the most sacred Hindu cremation sites. UNESCO publishes it as a world heritage site.

 

 

 



Bouddhanath

Bouddhanath is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to live around Bouddhanath. They established many gompas, and the "Little Tibet" of Nepal was born. This "Little Tibet" is still the best place in the Valley to observe Tibetan lifestyle. It is the biggest stupa in the Valley. The stupa, well known as Khasti, is also known as the World Heritage Site. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area. It lies about 6 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu. The Bouddha area Preservation & Development Committee runs an information center.

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