Patan Durbar Square, Nepal
This city square is located in the city center of Lalitpur. This is one of the three major Durbar squares of the Kathmandu Valley and is an UNESCO heritage site too. This is the sight to relish the architecture, culture, grandness and history in this region. Temples, palaces, residential houses and many other structures can be seen in this region.
History of Durbar Square
The history and construction of the square is not clearly known. However, the Lalitpur Malla Kings were said to be the main source for establishing many changes in this square. Prior to that, this square was just a crossroad. Prior to the settlement of Malla Kings, the region was under the control of Pradhanas. It is assumed that they were the one who constructed this square. There are also assumptions that this square was existing and flourishing even before the settlement of Pradhanas. Most of the structures in this square belong to 17th century. This was the time of Malla Kings.
Architecture of Durbar Square
Most of the temples and monuments in this Square were built in 17th century. This Square was considered as the center of Hinduism and Buddhism. It had 136 courtyard in the past, containing more than 55 temples. Today, only a handful stands with the passage of time. Each temple and monument has different architectural style to portrait the cultural importance of the religion. Most of the structures have a hint or are completely built in Shikara Architecture. Most significant material used is the stone. However, wood structures are very common here. The type of wood used is unique. After the earthquake, the restoration team spent a considerable amount of time in preparing the same type of wood used during the ancient times.
Things to Do and Attractions in Patan
1. Krishna Mandir
This is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. This is one of the most important structures of the square. ThisShikhara type temple has stone carvings and beam pillars. The carvings explain the scenes of Hindu epic, Mahabharata. The second floor carvings explain the epic, Ramayana. This 17th century temple has 21 gold pinnacles. The first floor holds the main temple of Lord Krishna, Lord Rukmani and Lord Radha. The second floor holds temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Lokeshwor.
2. Golden Temple
This is a magnificent piece of work. This temple is one of the oldest and richest structure and was built in 12th century. This temple is famous for its golden structures and décor works. This temple is dedicated to Buddhism.
3. Bhimsen temple
This 17th century temple has three interconnected windows. This temple’s main deity is one of the Pandava brothers, Bhimsen of Mahabharata. This temple portrait Bhimsen as Newar Bhim, the God of trade and business. Tourists cannot access this temple.
4. Vishwanath temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This 17th century temple is the Khajuraho of Nepal. The temple is filled with erotic carvings. The main deity of this temple is a stone lingam, a form of Lord Shiva. The main incredible element of this temple is the twin stone elephants at the entrance of the temple. You can also find other sculptures inside the temple.
4. Taleju Bhawani temple
This temple of 17th century is a five-floor temple with triple roof. This temple was said to be destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in the same century. It is also believed that Pradhanas built this temple, way before the time of settlement of Mallas.
The place has three main courtyards. The first is the Keshav Narayan Chowk, which gets its name from the temple of the same name inside it. The MulChowk is the central one and it is the largest of all. You can find numerous temples in this chowk like Vidhya temple, Taleju temple and others. The southernmost courtyard is SundariChok, which has numerous stone sculptures of Hindu Gods. This place holds the Patan Museum inside it.
6. Chyasin Dewal
This is another Vishnu temple inside the square. This temple of 17th century is one of the best examples of stone temple architecture. This temple holds many stone sculptures and a wonderful statue of Lord Krishna. The second floor of the temple has beautiful balconies.
7. Taleju Bell
This bell tower is located very closer to Chyasin Dewal. This this a large stone bell hung between two stone pillars. This was the alarm bell, which was rung when invaders were approaching or any emergency information should be announced to the city inmates.
8. Bhandarkhal Pond
This pond lies next to Sundari Chowk of the palace. This pond was once the main water supply for Patan. Today, it is fully restored and has stairs leading to the water in the pool.
9. Patan Museum
This museum is located inside the courtyard of the palace. This museum holds many religious structures, statues of bronze and other artifacts. This is considered as one of the best museums of Asia. This museum holds collections, which are thousands of years old.
There are numerous other structures and heritages sites in this Durbar Square. Some of them were destroyed in the earthquake, which shook Nepal. One other activity to enjoy here is trying the local cuisine and street food. You can find many shops and residential areas in or near the Square to try the cuisine of the land.
Entry Fee of Durbar Square
Entrance Fee – 1000 NPR (includes Patan Museum)
The ticket booth is located in the entrance of the Square. The ticket is valid for one whole day. Durbar Square is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Visiting Time of Durbar Square
- 10:30 am to 4:30 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
- 10:30 am to 2:30 pm (Sunday)
How to Reach Durbar Square
From Trivuban International Airport
- Taxis – This is the best option to choose no matter where you are in Kathmandu Valley. You can ask for Patan Durbar Square or Lagankhel and they would take you to the Square. Make sure to haggle before you accept the ride.
- Bus – once you walk out of the airport, you will find a bus stand close to it. Board a bus to Lagankhel. Get down at Lagankhel stop and walk for a few minutes to reach Patan Durbar.
Hire taxis from Thamel, if you are looking for comfort and ease of travel. If you are budget traveler, reach Ratan Park bus stand and board buses to Lagankhel. Walk from the Lagankhel bus stand to Patan Durbar Square.
Best Time To Visit Durbar Square
October to December is the best time to visit Patan Durbar Square. This is an outdoor sightseeing and excess heat or heavy rainfall can ruin the experience for you. Sundays will be a little crowded during tourism season. Thus, stick with the weekdays. Evenings and late afternoon is the peak time for tourists.