PATAN DURBAR SQUARE TOUR

Highlights:
Lalitpur is considered the richest among the three districts of Kathmandu Valley in sculpture, wood crafts and fine arts. The district that has set itself apart due to its historical, religious and traditional heritage is also known as Patan or Yala in Newari. The district with its unique artistic traditions and ancient heritage is bounded by Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, kavre and Makawanpur districts. The town dotted with artistic Temples, Monasteries, Stupas, Pagodas and other religious sites has become an important destination for the tourists.

Patan Durbar Square serves as the main identity of the district while likewise Ashoka Stupa, golden Temple, Nepal's only zoo as well as numerous temples around the town are the major attractions. The pricturesque Godavari, Fulchowki, Khokana, Bungmati, Lakuribhanjyang, Bhainsepati, Chapagaon and others are the popular tourist destinations around the town of Lalitpur. The Palace Square located in the districet has been listed as one of the UNESCO's world heritage sites. The Newari arts representing the indigenous culture of the town mesmerize any visitor.

Patan Durbar Square

SOME IMPORTANT SIGHTSEEING POINT IN PATAN:

KRISHNA MANDIR: The temple dedicated to Lord Krishna situated at the Patan Durbar Square is unmatched in the Lalitpur district. The stone temple of the Sikhar style of architecture was constructed by King Siddhinar shingha Malla in the 17th century. The temple, lavishly decorated by a variety of works of art, has a total of 21 spires and thus also called the 21 spire temple. An idol of lord Krishna is enshrined at the sanctum of the temple.The carvings and arts decorating the walls and refters of the temple have added to the temple's grandeur. Krishna Mandir is one of the favored destination for tourist among the temples and monasteries of Patan.

MAHABOUDHA: The Mahaboudha Temple is the first Buddha temple of Nepal constructed in an exquisite "Shikhar Style" of architecture. Located at Okubahal at a 10 min waling distance from the Patan Durbar Square, this temple is a visited by many tourists. The temple consists of thousands of terracotta figurines of Lord Buddha. the temple is also known as the "Temple of nine thousand Buddhas" The sight of the magnificent temple is adorned from all sides with nine thousand Buddha figurines of different sizes. The temple is popularly known as "Syangtungu" in the Tibetan language and is considered as important religious site for the Tibetan Buddhists.

BANGALAMUKHI TEMPLE: The Bangalamukhi Temple situated at Iwahi of Lalitpur district is one of the important religious sites of the Hindus. it is believed that one's desires are fulfilled by sincere worship of Bangala mukhi with pure intentions. Devotees flock the temple every Thursday to offer worship and for the fulfillment of their desire. The Bangalamukhi Temple premises also houses the Sarweshwor Mahadev temple, Badri-Narayan temple, Satya-Narayan temple, Ganesh temple, Manakamana temple, Haratimata temple, Gauri Kunda and others. The small pond called Gauri Kunda is one of the major attractions of the temple. According to legends, once an old and dropped and lost his water pitcher at the Gosaikunda Lake. The old man returned home and told his daughter-in-law found the same pitcher the next day in the Gauri Kinda giving rise to the relief that the source of the pond is at the Gosaikunda lake. it takes a 10 min walk from Patan Durbar Square or 25-30 min from New Baneshwor to reach the Bangalamukhi Temple.

HIRANYAVARNA MAHAVIHAR: The Great monastery of Hiranyavarna Mahavihar is located at the Kwabahal Tole of Patan. The monastery decorated with various forms of traditional art was constructed by King Bhaskardev in the 12th century. The idol of Amoghpash Lokeshwor is the main deity of the temple. The artistic style of the temple is considered superior to any other temple in Nepal. The temple girted in gold and surrounded by idols of numerous shape and sizes is also popularly known as "Golden Monastery".

KWA BAHAL: or the Golden Temple, is a Buddhist monastery courtyard dating to the 12th century. The monastery is embellished with exceptionally fine wood-carvings and repousse work. Artistic images are scattered around the courtyard.

KUMBHESWOR: Kumbheswar, Built in 1392, this Shiva temple is the oldest temple in the city. It is also one of the only three in the Valley with five roofs. The water in the two ponds here (Kwanti) is believed to originate in the holy Gosaikund lake, several days’ walk to the north.

OKU BAHAL: Oku Bahal is situated a few steps past Mahabouddha and is one of the best known Buddhist places of worship in Patan. The stone-paved courtyard is enclosed by a two-story building with gilded roofs. The wood-carvings on the roof struts are especially attractive.

BUNGMATI
The "Machiindranath" deity of Lalitpur Bungmati village is one of the important deities of the valley. it is believed that Machhindranath was invited to Nepal on the advice of expert Tantriks to rescue the coun try from a severe drought in the ancient time. Folks believe that a devastating drought hit the country for 12 years. The court Tantrks advised the people of Nepal to bring lord Machhenindranath to the valley to avert the disaster. heeding to the Tantriks advice, King Narendra Dve of Bhaktapur accompanied by a local "Jyapu" from Lalitpur, a Tantrik from Kathmandu and the Karkotak Naga residing in the Taudaha, went to Kamarup-Kamachhe in India's Assam. They succeeded in tricking Macchindranath the youngest among the 100 sons of demon King Shashi, and brought him to Nepal. The drought spell ended after the arrival of Macchindranath in Nepal.

The idol of Machhindranath is traditionally placed at Bungmati for 6 months and at Patan's Tabahal for 6 months. Machhindranath is taken from Lalitpur to Bungamati every year along with a chariot procession. This is also the biggest festival of Lalitpur. The deity is again returned to Patan towards the start of the winter season at the auspicious hour as advised by the astrologers. The Bungmati village is located at a distance of 6 km from Jawalakhel.

PATAN DURBAR SQUARE
Patan Durbar Square is the main attraction of the Lalitpur district. Known as Yala amoung Newari Language, the city is also called the city of wooden crafts and handicrafts. The palace has earned distinction being the home of finest crafts. Ancient shrines, museum, Krishna temple, Suvarnadwar, Devasthal and various small and big temple scattered in and around the square are some of the attractions. The area has been made attractive with the presence of various artistic masterpieces and ancients temples. The square offers myriad opportunities for visitors willing to study and research artistic and architectural masterpieces, history and culture of Lalitpur. Most of the monuments in the Durbar Square were built by Malla Kings from 16th to 18th century. Residents of Lalitpur like to pass their leisure time by strolling around the square. A small fee is applicable for the tourist for the entry into the UNESCO's world heritage sire.

KARNAVINAYAK
The famous Karnavinayak temple is located at the Bungmati village of Lalitpur about 6 km from Jawalakhel. the Karnavinayak is considered as the superior among the 4 major Vinayaks or temp;les of Lord Ganesh in the valley and was in existence from ancient time. it is traditionally believed that the Karnavinayak temple was established before the establishment of the Machhindranath which lies 1 km far. it is believed tghat paying homage to Karnavinayak before starting a task brings success and the temp;le was established before the journey to India's Assam to bring Machhindranath to Kathmandu. Devotees assemble in a large number every Tuesday and Saturday to offer worship. People worship here before starting any important task wishing for success. Likewise, the temple is also considered auspicious for the conducting of marriage ceremony. the Karnavinayak is also reputed as an ideal picnic spot due to environment and availability of water source. Picnickers pack the place especially in the weekends and holidays.

LAKURI BHANJYANG
Lakuri Bhanjyang that is situated at the triple junctions of Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kavre districts carries huge tourism potential. The enchanting hill situated some 15 km from Lagankhel is for viewing the splendid mountain ranges, Sunshine and the panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley. The evening view of the city lights of Kathmandu and the aricrafts taking off and landing at the nearby international airport is extremely delightful. The place is also popular for picniking due to its location near the city.

The place is identified by the breeze blowing atop the hillock that please the soul. Accommodation and fooding service are available at the nearby hotels and restaurants while the place is also suitable for camping. Public vehicle operate to the place regularly. Buses operate from Lagankhel along Gwarko, Siddipur, Lhubu, Lamatar, Lakuri Bhajyang, Puchhare and Kushadevi to Panuti. Kavre's Panauti is 15 km east of here while Bhaktapur's Suryavinayak 15 km towards North.

ZOO
Nepal's only zoological garden, the Central Zoo, is located at lalitpur/s Jawalakhel. Different species of birds and wild animals are displayed at the zoo. There is also a children's park in the zoo while one can also enjoy elephant ride and boating. People visit the zoo for refreshment in the holidays. The place is frequented by groups of city-dwellers looking for enjoyment as well as lover struck couples. The zoological garden is suitable not only for the children but people of the age groups and considered an important tourist spot. The zoo remains open from 10 am to 4 pm in the winter season and from 10 am to 5 pm in the rest of the year.

GODAWARI - Botanical Garden
Encircled by lush green hills and surrounded by pleasant environment and natural diversity, Godavari is situated 11 km east of Lalitpur's, Lagankhel. The weather of the place remains cool even in the summer. It is also considered a suitable habitat for numerous species of birds. The holy shrine located near a pond nestled among the foothills of rugged green hills adds to the attraction of the place. A huge festival takes place at the temple once every 12 years in the autumn season. people from around the country participate in the fair. The crystal clear water of Godavari is pure and refreshing. The spring water is supplied to different parts of Kathmandu as drinking water. Tourist can also enjoy boating at Godavari that is considered important for its huge tourist potentials. The nearby National Botanical Garden is another attraction of the place. Families and couples visit the place in significant number in the holidays.

The serene environment and greenery of the park leaves an unintelligible imprint on the minds of the visitors. A small entry fee is levied at the park's entrance. A 2 hour uphill hike from Godawari takes to the top of fulchowki hill, another enchanting tourist venue. The Fulchowki hilltop is a very suitable point to take a view of the Kathmandu valley. Likewise avid hikers can also choose to hike from Godavari or Fulchowki to another famous tourist spot of Lakuri bhanjyang. Godavari is also favored picnic spot. Micro buses leave to Godavari from Lagankhel. The ride along Satdobato, Hattiban, Thaiba and Taukhel takes almost half an hour. Apart from smaller hotels and lodges in the area there is a luxurious resort at Taukhel.

BISHANKHUNARAYAN TEMPLE
Bishankhunarayan is one of the four major temples of Narayan (Lord Vishnu) of the Kathmandu Valley. It is located at the Bishankhunarayan village some 11 km north-east of Lalitpur's, Lagankhel. The temple located on top of a hillock surrounded by green forest is considered important religious sites of the Hindus. The temple is traditionally believed to have come into existence itself.

The Dharmadwar cave located near the temple attracts much curiosity. It is believed that only the pious can pass into the cave while the sinners get stuck. Likewise, it is believed that passing through the cave or only a slight of it relieves one from all sins and his soul will attain Nirvana. The temple is visited specially in the months of Baisakh in the spring and Kartick in the autumn season. Likewise, devotees come in large number on the 9th and 14th day of every lunar cycle as well as on the full moon day. The 9th day. four days ahead of the full moon of the Kartic month is considered the m ost auspicious day to worship at the temple. So thousands of worshipers throng at the temple on the day. Likewise, the devotees light lamps at the temple and keep a vigil in throughout the night. Bisankhunarayan temple is accessible from Lagankhel along Satdobato, Hattiban, Harisiddhi and Thaiba.

NAGDAHA
The ancient Nagdaha lake situated in Lalitpur district's Dhapakhel village is considered important both historically and religiously. The lake is believed to have created when Manjushree drained off the lake that covered the Kathmandu valley and made the valley habitable. The lake farmed then as a residual lake is considered the home of the Basuki Nag. Major fairs are held at the lake in the Nagpanchami and Rishipanchami festivals. Boating service is made available at the lake as part of tourism promotion. Kathmandu denizens mostly visit the lake for enjoyment during holidays. The lake is some 4.5 km far from Lalitpur's Satdobato.

FULCHOWKI HILL
At an altitude of 2700 m, the Fulchowki hill is located at the highest location around the Kathmandu valley. The hilltop is at 23 km from Satdobato Lakitpur and 13 km from Godavari. and accessible by an uphill dirt road. The hilltop serving as the boundary of Lalitpur and Kavre districts is popular for hiking. One can enjoy breath-taking view of almost entire Kathmandu valley, Kavre district as well as views of the Terai plains. The panorama of lofty mountain ranges extending from Mt. Everest in the east and Annapurna range in the west offers the tourist a feeling of heaven. The view of the city lights of Kathmandu during the evening leaves an unforgettable memory.

During the spring season the hillsides are covered entirely by blooming red and white rhododendron emanating astounding beauty as if it is the queen of hills. a temple of fulchowki Mai is locate at the hilltop where large fairs are organized in the full moon day of Falgun, Chaitra and Baisakh months. Snow falls on the hilltop at the end of the winter attracts a large crowd of revelers from different parts of Kathmandu. The place is easily accessible by small vehicles and motorcycles, however, there is no facility of food and lodge. also there is no settlement nearby except for a contingent of Nepal Army soldiers posted for the security of the communication tower at the top of the hill.

KHOKANA
Khokana village lies 5 km south-east of Lalitpur's, Jawalakhel and is an attractive spot for the tourists. The place is well-suited to observe and study the original lifestyle, tradition, art and culture of the Newar community. The sacred Rudrayani temple of the Hindus, Bddhist monastery, historical Guthis, Mandalas and tightly packed rows of ancient mud houses are the highlights of Khokana.

The people of Khokana have succeeded in preserving and giving continuity to the tradition of the ancestors even in the modern age of science and technology. The place is a treasure trove of traditional crafts. Electricity was first produced in Nepal from this place. though theres is no facility of accommodation and proper restaurant, the village is highly suitable to get lost in the past amidst the Newari tradition. Public transport is available to Khokana from Lalitpur's Jawalakhel.

MAHABOUDHA
The Mahaboudha Temple is the first Buddha temple of Nepal constructed in an exquisite "Shikhar Style" of architecture. Located at Okubahal at a 10 min waling distance from the Patan Durbar Square, this temple is a visited by many tourists. The temple consists of thousands of terracotta figurines of Lord Buddha. the temple is also known as the "Temple of nine thousand Buddhas" The sight of the magnificent temple is adorned from all sides with nine thousand Buddha figurines of different sizes. The temple is popularly known as "Syangtungu" in the Tibetan language and is considered as important religious site for the Tibetan Buddhists.

The temple, regarded as one of the most important landmarks of Lalitpur district, was constructed by a Lalitpur commoner, Pundit Abhaya Raj Shakya, who was a great connoisseur of arts and crafts. It is traditionally believed that the construction of the temple started in circa 1508 A.D. The temple was completed 36 years. The great Pundit Abhaya Raj Shakya was a devout follower of Buddhism. it is believed that, during a pilgrimage to India's Boudhagaya, the Pundit was inspired by the huge temple there. He envisioned a similar temple in Nepal and started the construction. The top of the temple was damaged during the devastating earthquake of 1933 AD. It was later renovated with the aid from local residents and the government. One of the descendants of Pundit Abhayaraj Shakya is chosen as the temple's caretaker for a during of a month.

RUDRAVARNA MAHAVIHAR
The Rudravarna Mahavihar, much adorned with exquisite works of art and crafts is a famous tourist destination and probably the best Buddhist Monastery of Lalitpur district. The Vihar was constructed during Shiva Dev Sashkarita era 6th century AD and was renovated by King Rudra Dev some 400 years ago, from whence it got the name "shiva Dev Sashakarita Shree Rudravarna Mahavihar. The monastery adorned with arts and crafts of various forms, is situated amidst a peaceful environment and is popular among foreign tourist as a unique landmark. The main attraction of the Monastery is the multitude of works of art and crafts made of various metals and stones, placed inside the small yard of the monastery. Foreign tourists love to take a look at these exquisite examples of handcraft. The monastery is situated at Okubahal of Lalitpur district at a 10 min waling distance from Patan Durbar Square. Tourists from abroad and the SAARC region should pay a small fee to enter the temple. Located nearby this temple is the magnificent Shikhar style Mahaboudha temple also know as the "Temple of nine thousand Buddhas"

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