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Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees, is lying at about 14 km east of Kathmandu city. It is locally known as “Khwopa and Bhadgaon” which is world renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture, colourful festivals, traditional dances and indigenous lifestyle of different people of different religions. For its majestic monuments, temples and the typical native Newari lifestyle best known for their long history of craftsmanship, the ancient city is also variously known as the “City of Culture”, “Living Heritage”, “Nepal’s Cultural Gem” and “An Open Museum”. Given such unequaled opulence in ancient art and culture, Bhaktapur is more like an open museum, and the ambiance here is such that it instantly transports visitors back by centuries.
This conch shaped historic city is spreaded over an area of 6.88 sq. km. at 1401m above sea level, which was founded in the 12th century by King Ananda Dev Malla. Bhaktapur was the capital city of the Greater Malla Kingdom till the 15th century A.D. The many of Bhaktapur’s greatest monuments were built by the then Malla rulers.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar SquareBhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other marvelous architectural showpieces like the Lion Gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the Picture Gallery, the Golden Gate, the Batsala Temple and the Bell of Barking Dogs. An intriguing part of this square is the fifteen-century Palace of Fifty-five Windows, which was built during the region of King Yakshya Malla and was remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century.
King Bhupatindra Malla built this five-storey pagoda in 1702 A.D. It stands in a five-terraced platform. On each of the terraces squats a pair of figures: two famous wrestlers, two elephants, two lions, two griffins, and Baghini and Singhini (the tiger and the lion) goddesses. This is one of the tallest temple and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship.
This temple was first built as a one-storey pagoda but later changed into a three-storey temple in 1718 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. The temple is noted for its artistic grandeur. It is dedicated to Lord Bhairab – the God of Terror.
The square gets its name from the Dattatreya Temple dedicated to a three-headed combination of the Hindu deities Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Dattatreya square is a perfect place to experience the feel of the traditional urban layout of Bhaktapur. Set in a maze of streets lined with richly ornamented houses, the square is framed for its many ornate Hindu monasteries known as Math. The National Woodworking Museum is also housed here and the Brass and Bronze Museum is across the street.
Potter’s SquarePotter’s Square
A two-minute walk south of Darbar Square brings you to Bolachhen, also known as Potter’s Square, because of the many potters seen here molding wet clay into different kinds of earthenware. It has a display if fresh pottery left out to dry in the open square. This place can be approached from Taumadhi Square also.