19/05/2024

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Patan Durbar Square – Medieval Temples, Palaces, Museums – Enlisted As a World Heritage Site

Patan Durbar Square – Medieval Temples, Palaces, Museums – Enlisted As a World Heritage Site

Patan Durbar Square, which lies in the heart of Patan, is one of the three durbar squares in the Kathmandu valley. Patan Durbar Square was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. To the southern edge of the Patan Durbar Square, is Mangal Bazaar, Patan’s major commercial district. You will come across a number of shops selling statues of Hindu deities and Lord Buddha, handicrafts and metal and wood carvings, while walking in the Durbar Square. Foreigners and SAARC nationals have to pay a small entry fee to enter the Patan Durbar Square.

Palace

Patan Durbar Square has an excellent collection of fine pagoda temples, stone statues, water spouts, bronze gateways, images of guardian deities and intricate wood and metal carvings. Patan Durbar Square Complex houses the royal palace of the former royal family of Patan. The royal palace, also known as Chyasim Deval, is believed to have been built by Malla kings in the 17th and 18th centuries. Several of Patan’s finest temples are in a straight line down the left hand side of Durbar Square, facing the palace.

Temples

Some of the famous temples of Patan are the Krishna Mandir, Krishna Temple, Taleju Bhawani, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Uma Maheshwar temple, Jagannarayan Temple (Char- Narayan Temple), Bhai Dega Temple and Hari Shankar Temple.

The three storied Krishna Mandir was built by King Siddhi Narsingha Malla in the 16th century. Krishna Mandir, which is devoted to Lord Krishna, is one of the best examples of stone architecture in Nepal. Scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana (holy Hindu epics) are carved on the walls of the Krishna Mandir.

Jagannarayan Temple, which dates back to 1565, is reputed to be the oldest temple in the Patan Durbar Square. Jagannarayan Temple is dedicated to Narayan, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, which is also known as the Golden Temple, is a three storied Buddhist monastery, dedicated to Lokeswar (Lord Buddha). The monastery was built by King Bhaskar Malla in the 12th century.

Courtyards

Patan Durbar Square has three courtyards, namely Mul Chowk, Keshav Narayan Chowk and Sundari Chowk. Mul Chowk, which is the central courtyard, is the oldest and the largest courtyard. At the center of the courtyard stands the small, gilded Bidya Temple. Sundari Chowk, which is to the south of Mul Chowk, has a sunken water tank (Tusha Hiti) which contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculpture. Keshav Narayan Chowk houses the Patan Museum.

Museum

Patan Museum, which was established in 1997, has a fine collection of cast bronzes and gilt copper repousse work and traditional crafts for which Patan is famous. The museum is open from 10.30 am to 4.30 am everyday, except on Tuesdays.

Place to Eat

Just nearby the museum is the Patan Museum Cafe. The Patan Museum cafe offers traditional Nepali cuisines as well as western delicacies. The cafe area can also be booked for special evening functions such as classical dance or music performances, receptions, banquets or theatre.