Patan Durbar Square is an amazing masterpiece of ancient architecture and art that has captured the hearts and minds of visitors for ages. Patan Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a diverse range of attractions, including perfectly carved temples and amazing monuments. Patan Durbar Square is most renowned for its diverse cultural legacy, especially its arts and crafts culture.
History of Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Lalitpur, Nepal. It functioned as the palace of the Malla Kings, who ruled over Patan from the 14th century until the 18th century. The square was also a hub for religious and cultural events during this period.
The Malla Kings were admirers of art and architecture, as can be seen in the beautiful carvings and sculptures that adorn many of the temples and monuments in Patan Durbar Square.
During its prime, Patan Durbar Square was one of three major royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. It was an important hub for trade between Tibet, India, and China.
However, after a terrible earthquake rocked Nepal in 2015, several buildings and structures within Patan Durbar Square suffered substantial damage. Restoration activities are ongoing to preserve this historic landmark for future generations to treasure.
Despite these limitations, tourists can nevertheless observe firsthand the rich history maintained within Patan Durbar Square through its spectacular architecture and relics on display at several museums within the complex.
Major Attractions of Patan Durbar Square
Chyasin Dewal (Krishna Temple)
At the main entrance to Patan Durbar Square, we notice a lovely octagonal stone temple, Chyasin Dewal (the word ‘Chyasin’ means eight-sided concerning its octagonal form), devoted to Lord Krishna. The temple was established in 1723 by Yogamati, the daughter of King Yoganarendra Malla.
It is said that the temple was created in commemoration of the 32 wives of King Yoganarendra Malla, who committed satis following the monarch's death (sati was an ancient, harsh tradition in which a widow had to self-immolate during the funeral ceremony of her deceased spouse). Later, Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher, on July 8, 1920, A.D., ended the practice of sati in Nepal.
The Taleju bell, located near Chyasin Dewal, is a massive cast-iron bell. King Vishnu Malla built the bell in 1736. The people used the bell to notify the king of their problems. It was also used as an alert to notify the king of upcoming foes.
Hari Shankar Temple
Hari Shankar Temple is a three-story temple devoted to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This is a hybrid-type temple erected in 1705 by the daughter of King Yoganarendra Malla, Rudramati.
King Yoganarendra Malla’s statue
In close proximity to the Hari Shankar temple, lies a bronze statue of King Yoganarendra Malla, perched atop a high pillar, his queens flanking him on either side. A serpent coils around the king's head, and a tiny bird rests atop the serpent's crown. According to folklore, as long as the avian creature remains perched upon the statue, the king's return to his palace is possible, therefore a window in the palace is always left open.
Char Narayan Temple
The Char Narayan temple was established in 1566 AD by Purandarasimha. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is the oldest temple in Patan Durbar Square.
Krishna Temple: Krishna Temple,Patan
Krishna Mandir (Temple) is a Hindu Shikhara-style temple that was built in 1637 AD and boasts 21 golden spires. The Krishna Temple, which is entirely composed of stone, is regarded as Nepal's first example of Shikhara-style architecture. There is also a statue of Garuda on a pillar stands in front of the Krishna temple.
The Royal Palace and Patan Museum
The Patan Museum was inaugurated in 1997 by King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah. The Patan Museum houses one of the finest collections of religious art and craft in Nepal, with a display of countless Buddhist and Hindu religious artifacts and cultural relics.
It also boasts some of the most stunning traditional Newari crafts and bronze statues. The museum entrance cost is included in your Patan Durbar Square ticket, so you won't have to pay more to explore the Patan Museum.
The primary attraction of the Patan Durbar Square museum is the old Royal Palace complex, where the Mall monarchs formerly resided. The complex comprises three main chowks: Keshav Narayan Chowk, Mul Chowk, and Sundari Chowk.
Chowk (meaning "courtyard")
Keshav Narayan Chowk
Keshav Narayan Chowk, built in 1734, functioned as the Malla Kings' Royal Palace's house chowk. The Keshav Narayan Temple (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) is placed in the chowk's center. This chowk is well-known for its spectacular Golden Gate and the two lions (one female and one male) that guard the doorway.
Rebuilt in 1666 by King Srinivasa Malla, Mul Chowk is the largest of the Royal Palace’s three main chowks. In the middle of Mul Chowk, you’ll find a lovely temple devoted to Yantaju, a personal deity of the Malla Kings. It is here inside Mul Chowk that you’ll be able to witness the spectacular Taleju Bhawani Temple (made in 1671) and the Degutale Temple (constructed in 1661), both devoted to Goddess Taleju.
Sundari Chowk, the smallest of the Royal Palace's three principal chowks, was erected in 1627 and is considered the most magnificent. Sundari Chowk is noted for its stunning sunken royal bath, known as 'Tusha Hiti, which was built in 1647 by King Siddhi Narasimha Malla.
Bhandarkhal Garden, located between Mul Chowk and Sundari Chowk, is a magnificent park with a pond. The Bhandarkhal water tank, which was established in 1647, functioned as the Royal Palace's principal water source.
Exploring More Outside Patan Durbar Square
Aside from Patan Durbar Square, the following temples and stupas are must-sees beyond Patan Durbar Square:
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (The Golden Temple):
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (‘Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, meaning ‘Monastery with a Golden Color) is known among travelers as The Golden Temple, and its name is easy to recall.
The Golden Temple was created in 1045 by King Bhaskar Deva Varma and was constructed in its final form in 1409. The Golden Temple is a stunning three-story Buddhist monastery.
The design of the complex is remarkable. Inside the courtyards, you’ll find a beautiful temple with a tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The Shakyamuni Buddha is a god of the Shakya Caste ( a Newari cast in Nepal), and the Golden Temple's principal priest is a young boy under the age of 12 from the Shakya caste, who serves for one month before being replaced by another young boy. You’ll notice excellent craftsmanship all around you. You can take the steps and visit the monastery upstairs.
Entry Fee: 100 NPR for foreigners, 50 NPR for SAARC
Kumbheshwor and Baglamukhi Temple
Located 200 meters from the northern section of the Golden Temple, Kumbheshwor Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples devoted to Lord Shiva. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Patan, erected in the 14th century by King Jayasthiti Malla.
It is a pagoda-style temple with five floors. The temple is noted for its superb woodcarvings and excellent proportions. The Kumbheshwor Temple Complex (which contains the Kumbheshwor Temple and the Banglamukhi Temple) is generally disregarded by tourists visiting Patan Durbar Square and the Golden Temple.
The ancient Buddhist stupas were built by King Asoka during his trip to the valley around 250 BC. There are four tiny antique stupas at Gwarko (East), Pulchowk (West), Kumbeshwor (North), and Lagankhel (South) that mimic Patan's four corners. Buddhism flourished in the valley after King Asoka built these stupas, according to mythology. Three of the stupas are modest clay mounds with prayer wheels, but the stupa at Kumbheshwor is a spectacular concrete stupa.
Each temple or monument at Patan Durbar Square has something unique to offer visitors. Be sure not to miss any when you visit this fantastic destination!
Patan Dhoka : One of the historical entrances of the Patan Durbar Square and patan city
It is located about 4 km south of the Bagmati bridge, connecting the Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts. If you choose to tour Lalitpur City and Patan durbar square, you are most likely to pass via Patan dhoka.
Around 100 meters to the south of Patan dhoka lies the historic site, pimbahal. It is as old as 700 years. One of the main features of Pimbahal is its 14th-century pond which is worth visiting while you are here. This big pond is a hidden gem built around a beautiful lakefront pavilion. On the north side is a three-tiered Chandeswari temple built in 1663. Walk around the pond clockwise and you'll pass a 600-year-old whitewashed stupa.
The relevance of Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square plays a major role in Nepal's history and culture. It is not merely a tourist attraction but also an important religious landmark that symbolizes the country's rich cultural legacy.
The square features multiple temples, palaces, statues, and other historical monuments that are considered to be some of the most outstanding specimens of traditional Newari architecture. Each monument has its own distinct myths and legends linked to it.
Patan Durbar Square is also noted for being home to several festivals and rituals enjoyed by people throughout the year. These events exhibit Nepal's unique culture and traditions.
How to get to Patan Durbar Square
Getting to Patan Durbar Square is very straightforward as it is located in the middle of Lalitpur, which is just 5 km distant from Kathmandu.
However, if you are currently staying in Kathmandu Valley, there are various methods to get here. You can board a public bus that goes regularly between Patan and other parts of the valley. The cost is inexpensive but be prepared for crowded vehicles.
Alternatively, one can also rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore the area at their own pace. This offers fantastic flexibility and independence for people who desire more control over their itinerary.
Travelers can choose to use ridesharing services like Pathao and inDriver which have been increasingly popular in Nepal recently. This choice delivers ease and comfort when moving about the town without breaking your budget.
Getting to Patan Durbar Square is convenient no matter what method of transportation, such as public buses, taxis, motorbikes, bicycles, and ride-sharing cars, is available within the valley's bounds.
Patan Durbar Square is a must-visit place for everyone interested in learning the cultural legacy of Nepal. Its historical importance, gorgeous architecture, and vast assortment of temples and monuments make it one of the most engaging places in Lalitpur.
The square offers visitors an opportunity to learn about Nepalese history, art, and culture through its many attractions. From the magnificent Krishna Mandir to the elaborately sculpted Taleju Temple, there's something for everyone at Patan Durbar Square.
Whether you're a history buff or simply seeking a gorgeous area to explore, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure not to disappoint. So why wait? Plan your vacation today and discover all that Patan Durbar Square has to offer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is patan durbar square located ?
Patan Durbar Square is located in Lalitpur. Patan Durbar Square is about 5.5 km south of Thamel, Kathmandu, and 6.2 km from Tribhuvan International Airport.
When was patan durbar square enlisted in unesco world heritage site ?
Patan Durbar Square was enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Who built patan durbar square ?
Patan Durbar Square was primarily built by the Malla Kings who ruled over Patan from the 14th century until the 18th century.
Since Patan Durbar Square has 136 courtyards and 55 major temples, built by different kings in their prime times.
What is patan durbar square famous for ?
As a Traveler, you will discover that Patan Durbar Square is famous for its captivating Newar architecture, stunning temples, grand palaces, and enchanting courtyards. It is a treasure trove of rich cultural heritage, showcasing the artistic and architectural brilliance of ancient Nepal.
Don't miss the Golden Temple, Ashoka Stupas, and the fascinating exhibits at the Patan Museum. Come and immerse yourself in the wonders of this popular destination, where history comes alive!