Located about 5 km south of Kathmandu, Patan is one of the three royal cities in the valley. A destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.
Patan is believed to have been built in the third century B.C. by the Kirat dynasty later expanded and enriched by the Lichhavi and the Malla rulers in the medieval period. Patan Durbar Square, like its counterpart in Kathmandu, is an enchanting mélange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. The former royal palace complex is the centre of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a beautiful museum.
Places to see in Patan
Patan Durbar Square:
This durbar square has many famous sites and unique architectures. Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen temple, Hiranya Varna Mahahihar are just a few among the temples offering you an ecstasy of ; paintings, wood and metal carvings. The Sundari Chowk contains exquisite samples of woodcarvings, stone and metal sculpture. Patan Duar Square and the Himalaya&nsp;??? that can be seen at a distance make an enchanting scene. A half-day sightseeing tour of the Patan city is highly recommended.
It offers an opportunity to view remaining of the ancient palace of Malla kings, and some of the most beautiful wood and stone carving works in the world. Museum covers a long history and living traditions of Nepal and is a-must-see for tourists to learn more about Nepali craftsmanship and their traditions.
A king dreams of God Krishna and Goddess Radha standing in front of a temple. Next day, turning dreams into a reality, a finest stone wrought monument is born! The Krishna temple located on the west side of the Patan Durar Square, was built in 1637 by king Siddhi Narsingha Malla. The temple holds a great position in the Patan palace, it is also the only temple in Nepal which has 21 shrines and is completely made of stone, and fine carvings. The temple has three floors, Krishna, Shiva, Lokeshwor are enshrined in first, second and third floor respectively. During Krishnastami, the lord Krishna’s birthday, the temple is the destination of thousands of worshippers from around the country. The temple is beautifully lighted by thousands of oil lamps during the festival.
The temple is dedicated to Gautam Buddha. The temple was built by Pandit Ahaya Raj, a Buddhist architect, and more interesting thing about the temple is that every single rock has Buddha engraved in it. There are nearly one thousand rocks of Buddha in the temple!
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar:
This three storeyed golden pagoda is located about 650 feet from Patan Durar Suare. It has the images of lord Buddha and large prayer wheels. The pagoda is also known as Kwa Bahal or Suwarna Mahavihar or Golden temple.
A good five storeyed temple in the valley portraying fine arts. An annual festival is held here once every year.
Jagat Narayan Temple:
A temple of Lord Vishnu, made of red rocks. It has fine images of stone and an artistic metal statue of Garuda on a stone pillar.
Rudra Varna Mahavihar:
A Buddhist monastery containing a collection of images and statues in stone, wood and metal and also the treasures offered by king’s devotees. In ancient times, Nepal’s kings were crowned in this monastery.
Stupas known to have been built in 250 BC by emperor Ashoka are located in Pulchowk, Lagankehl, Eahil and in Teat all of which act as an evidence to this city’s ancient religious importance.
Also known as Avalokiteshowr and Adinath Lokeshwor, is a pagoda that is housed here in Patan for every six months each year and plays an important role in keeping the ancient traditions alive.
Situated at the foothills of Phulchoki, this place is surrounded by gardens and flowers. It is an ideal place for picnic and hangouts for the people of Kathmandu valley
10 km away from Patan, this 2759 meters high spot is good for hiking. The Gurans flower (Rhododendrons) of white to dark red can be seen here.