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Known as the Art Haven of Nepal, Patan is Nepal’s third-largest city. The modern name of Patan Nepal is Lalitpur, and it is well known for its enduring history in arts and crafts and its rich cultural heritage. Being just 5 km away from Kathmandu- the capital of Nepal, Patan has an old-world charm, and you can spot various traditional crafts such as metal crafts and woodcarving. With temples and monasteries in almost every corner of the road, the wood-carved windows and pagoda-style architecture will remain prevalent in every frame.
Having a rich cultural presence, Patan Nepal has 136 Buddhist monasteries and 55 temples. Since the majority of the population belongs to the Newar cast, the people celebrate both Buddhist and Hindu festivals like the display of Dipanker Buddhas Rato and the Machhendranath Jatra. Patan is also famous for its Pauba and Thangka painters whose arts cross boundaries and are imported by various countries. You can see these paintings while walking along the little lanes of the city.
Patan also houses the Patan Durbar Square, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel. Durbar Square and the Old Royal Palace are the major attractions in Patan due to the numerous artistically designed temples. The Krishna Temple inside the Patan Durbar Square is a complete stone and is also the most important shrine in the valley. If you want to explore the various temples, restaurants, cafes, museums, shrines, and other architectural marvels of Nepal, then you need to take a trip to the city of Patan!
Nearest Airport: Kathmandu
How to reach: by air/road
Best time to visit: March to May/September to November
WHAT TO SEE
Patan Durbar Square, Kumari- the living Goddess
History & Architecture:
According to the scribes, the history of Patan Nepal dates back to the Lichhavi period, as it was during this period that Patan witnessed large architectural constructions and consistent developments inside the city for establishing it as the center of trade and commerce. After being established as an important trade center, Patan kept flourishing during the Malla Dynasty. The Malla kings are the reason behind the extraordinary architectural legacy of Patan, as they were great connoisseurs of Art and created it during the thirteenth to the eighteenth century. The architecture in Nepal is said to reach its peak during the ruling of the Malla Dynasty. The famous Sikhara style temple, Palace, Pagoda temple, and more than eighty percent of the historical monuments are from the Malla period. It was due to the skilled artisans and craftsmen of the Malla Dynasty that these iconic architectures became the identity of Patan.
Explore the Alleyways: Patan is incomplete without its gallis or alleyways. The gallis are narrow paths between homes and buildings. For exploring the real Patan, you need to admire the murals and carved wooden windows of the houses inside these gallis.
Mahaboudha: Being a very popular tourist destination in Patan, it has thousands of Buddha images engraved on every brick of the temple. It is one of the best places to find peace inside the busy city.
Historical Sites: If you want to explore the stunning architecture of Patan, then you need to visit it during November as all the restoration work of the monuments happens in November.
Rudravarna Mahavihar: This 1500-year old monastery has carved metal statues that are exemplary pieces of workmanship. Renowned for its art, craft, and architecture, it is a must-visit place in Okubahal.
Backstreet Academy: If you want to learn about the art and architecture of Patan, then you can take classes from the Backstreet Academy. It offers classes like cooking, pottery, and many other crafts.
Aksheshwor Mahavihar: Walking to the Aksheshwor Mahavihar gives you a stunning view of Kathmandu valley. You can enjoy the view of the city as well as the clear blues skies above you from this point.