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Home > Nepal > Sightseeing > Bhaktapur City
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Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur City Sightseeing

Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon (pronounced bud-gown and meaning 'City of Rice') in Nepali, or Khwopa (City of Devotees) in Newari, is the third major town of the valley. Traffic free, the traditionally intact town is also in many ways the most timeless. The cobblestone streets link a string of temples, courtyards and monumental squares, and the sidestreets are peppered with shrines, wells and water tanks.

The lack of traffic makes walking through Bhaktapur a pleasure and certainly more enjoyable than walking in Kathmandu. The town's cultural life is also vibrant, with centuries-old traditions of craftsmanship and strong communities of potters, woodcarvers and weavers. Look for rice laid out to dry in the sun, people collecting water or washing under the communal taps, dyed yarns hung out to dry, children's games, fascinating shops and women pounding grain - there's plenty to see.

Bhaktapur 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 items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace.

The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeeth century. The art gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open everyday except Tuesday.
Some important monuments to see in this area are:

Golden Gate: This is the main entrance to the famous 55-window palace, built by Ranjit Malla in 7 th century A.D.

Nyatapola: This is the most famous pagoda of Nepal, which was built in 1702A.D. by Bhupatendra Malla. This temple was dedicated to Siddhi-Laxmi, the tantric mother goddess of supreme power. Nyatapola in Newari means a five tiered symbolizing five basic elements - water, earth, fire, wind and sky.

55 window palace: This is the main structure of the entire Durbar Square, which is a magnificient edifice built by Yakshya Malla and renovated by Bhupatendra Malla.

Pashupati Temple: According to a folklore, a Bhaktapur King who was a great devotee of Lord Pashupati, had a dream in which Lord Shiva told him to build a temple for him so that he could move into it. He obeyed this command and thus the temple came into existence.
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