Located 13km east of the Kathmandu valley, Bhaktapur city is also popular as Bhadgaon or Khwopa. This ancient city is widely known as the city of culture, the city of devotees, or an open museum. It is the home of traditional Nepali culture and unique wooden and pottery art. Each and every piece of art reveals the medieval age culture and tradition of Nepal. All of the monuments and sculptures reflect the century-old technique of craftsmanship. Truly it is Nepal’s cultural gem. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, in Bhaktapur allures a large number of domestic and international tourists. The complex consists of four distinct squares namely Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square, however, the whole area is informally known as Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Many of the people visit this historical place to savor the beauty of the entire Durbar’s location. The spellbinding archaic beauty of the palace captivates any of the travelers. One’s visit to Nepal is incomplete without a reminiscing tour in Bhaktapur.
History of Bhaktapur Durbar Square
After the establishment of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the 12th century, the Palace there had altogether 99 courtyards. However in the 18th century, out of 99 courtyards only 12 remained and today they are merely half that number. Really, it is very difficult to determine the exact history of the Palace buildings. However, it is believed that the city was founded by the Malla King named King Anand Malla in the 12th century. In addition, the Kathmandu Valley was once ruled from Bhaktapur by the Mallas, until King Yakshya Malla divided the kingdom among his three sons in 1482 AD. Thereafter until the mid 18th century, Bhaktapur saw many battles. Along with the division of the valley kingdoms, the Shah dynasty conquered them one after another. During this time the city not only faced battles and fights, but it also saw the great flourishment in the culture, art, and architecture. Mallas are the ones who began to flourish the fantastic art and sculptures in the city. Undoubtedly, the Malla reign contributed a lot to make the Bhaktapur city more cultural and architectural.
Despite being close to the Kathmandu Valley the elegant art, fabulous culture, vibrant festivals, traditional dances, and indigenous lifestyle of the Newari people retain the ancient beauty of the Bhaktapur. You can still see the women of Bhaktapur in the traditional Newari attire which is referred to as Haku patasi in the Newari language. The majority of people here are farmers. They produce household items like clay pots, straw mattresses, clothes, and many more. Besides these, they also produce the JUJU DHAU, which you should taste during your visit to the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.
If you visit Bhaktapur city on the 1st day of the Nepalese New Year, you will get to see the BisketJatra. During this vibrant festival, chariots are pulled through the streets. Eventually, a tug of the war determines who will be blessed with good fortune in the upcoming year.
The prime attraction around the Bhaktapur Durbar Square are
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Full of the historical monuments such as the fifty-five window palace, Big Bell, Golden Gate, Mini Pashupatinath Temple, Statue of Bhupatindra Malla, and the Batsala Devi Temple, Bhaktapur Durbar is the major attraction in itself. Located in front of the Royal Palace of old Bhaktapur, it is the most admired destination of the Kathmandu valley.
55 window palace
The Fifty-five window palace was built during the ruling period of King Yakshya Malla in 1427AD and was renovated in the 17th century by King Bhupatindra Malla. The magnificently crafted fifty-five windows lure travelers with its architectural treasure. In recent days the fifty-five window Palace has been converted to the national gallery representing fine craftsmanship. The gallery consists of bygone paintings and Thankas also. These bygone paintings have been able to preserve the historical identity and civilization of the nation.
The Golden Gate was built by King Ranjit Malla in 1754AD. It is the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-Five Windows Palace. Embellished by the Golden plating, the gate is ethereal beauty in itself.
Mini Pashupatinath Temple
It is the replication of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu Valley. It is believed that the King of Bhaktapur, who was the great devotee of Lord Pashupati, had a dream in which Lord Shiva told him to build the temple so he built the temple right in front of the palace.
Batsala Temple was erected by King Jaya Prakash Malla in 1672AD and is dedicated to the Mother Goddess. Batsala is the replica of the Krishna Mandir Temple in the neighboring Patan Durbar Square. The architectural beauty of the temple is mind-blowing. A traveler visiting this temple will salute the mesmerizing work done on the stone. In front of the temple, there was a large bell that was built by King Jaya Ranjit Malla in 1737AD. The bell was built there to mark the morning and evening prayer at Taleju Temple. Hence, it was known as the Taleju Bell. At the base of the Batsala Temple, there was a small bell which was built by King Bhupatindra Malla. The bell was also known as the barking bell. The temple was completely destroyed by the devastating earthquake of 2015. However, it has been restored now. Along with the temple the barking bell was also destroyed, but it is now kept at the corner of the entrance of Mul Chowk.
Located around 200m east of the Durbar Square, Taumadhi square is another prime attraction among the visitors. Nyatapola temple and the Bhairav temple serve highly to make this square more popular among the travelers.
The five-storied Pagoda styled Nyatapola Temple was built in 1702AD by King Bhupatindra Malla. It is one of the biggest Pagoda temples ever built in Nepal with such artistic beauty. This temple is dedicated to Siddhi Laxmi, the tantric goddess of great power and success. There are multiple pairs of unique stone sculptures on both sides of the large staircase. Among many, the two statues at the bottom of the staircase consist of the statues of two wrestlers. As the temple was well constructed it survived both the earthquakes that occurred during 1934 and 2015.
Bhairab Nath temple
The Bhairabnath temple is dedicated to Bhairab, the god of terror and death. This temple was originally built by Jagat Jyoti Malla as a one-storeyed but, later in 1718AD, King Bhupatindra added two more stories to this temple.
With the impressive Ganesh Temple, Pottery square is located in the southern part of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. As the name suggests the place is popular for the artistic potter. People make various types of clay pot among which Khutruke is the most popular one. You can enjoy the clay work in the wooden and electric wheel. Strolling around this square takes you back to the medieval ages. It is revitalizing to witness the generations of family working together.
Situated just a Kilometer east of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Dattatraya Square is famous for its beautiful Dattaraya temple. In the vicinity of the Dattatraya temple, there are some smaller historical buildings. Today you can observe these smaller historical buildings as the guesthouses and restaurants. The 3-tier Pagoda styled Dattatraya temple was built by King Yakshya Malla in 1427. The temple was renovated by the son of King Yakshya Malla in 1458AD. It is said that the temple has been built from the timber of a single tree and has survived both the earthquakes which occurred in 1934 and 2015AD.
The temple represents three major Hindu gods Brahma, Bishnu, and Shiva.
Around the Dattatreya Temple is the Pujari Math which was built by King Yakshya Malla in the 15th century. In recent days you can observe Pujari Math as a wonderful museum with excellent wood carving. At the eastern face of the Pujari Math, there is a uniquely crafted peacock window that attracts the visitor’s attention.
Besides these attractions, there are other various monuments and architecture in the vicinity of Bhaktapur Durbar Square such as Badrinath Temple, Rameshwor Temple, Bhimsen Temple, Lions Gate, and many more. Along with the religious significance, each of these monuments has its great architectural worth. During your visit to the Bhaktapur Durbar Square don’t forget to buy a souvenir as the streets shops of Bhaktapur city consist of various cultural handicrafts that are perfect to buy as souvenirs.
Entrance fee for Bhaktapur Durbar Square
For foreigners, the entrance fee is around UDS$15 while the visitors of SAARC countries and China pay Rs. 500.
Last Minute Booking / inquires for Bhaktapur Durbar Square Day Tour
You can call us: +977 9849023179 - Dipak Pande (WhatsApp, Viber WeChat), and line available @ 24 hrs or email.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
55 window palace
Bhairab Nath temple
Mini Pashupatinath Temple
Day 01:Everyday Depature at 10 am.
Kathmandu city tour as per the above program, inclusive tour guide, car/van.
Highly experienced, helpful, and friendly Guide.
Nepal Government taxes.
Per person, one city map
lunch during a tour
Sightseeing entry fees.
Donation and Tips.
Mineral water and bar bills.
Day 01Everyday Depature at 10 am.Every day we will depart from your hotel at 10 am. Our car and driver will come there.