Places to see in Bhktapur or Bhaktapur city tour
|Bhaktapur city Map|
Bhaktapur is lying at 12 KM east of capital city Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is "the city of Devotees". It is locally known as "Khwopa and Bhadgaon" which is world renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture , colourful festivals, traditional dances and indigenouslifestyle of different people of different religion. For its majestic monuments, temples and the native typical newar 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 hostoric city is spreading over an area of 6.88 square KM at 1,401 meters above sea level, which was founded in the 12th century by King Anand Dev Malla.Bhaktapur was the capital city of the Greater Malla Kingdom till the 15th century AD. The many of Bhaktapur's greatest monuments were built by thethen Malla rulers.
The ancient ritual dances and festivals are still observed by the locals with the same fervour and ehthusiasm as their ancestors did centuries ago. King Yaksha Malla (15th ventury) heavily fortified this city. Bhaktapur has its gem in Durbar Square and Changu Narayan temple-- a World Heritage site listed by the UNESCO. Strewn with unique palaces, temples and monasteries best admired for their exquisite artworks in wood, metal and stone, the palatial enclave has bewitched pilgrims and travelers for centuries.Yet, they are not all though. Stretching all along the township, the panoramic Himalaya levitates in the skyline as if to keep vigilance on the city'senviable beauty and splendor.It grows from a collection of villages strung along the old trade route between India and Tibet.
The cultural traditions of Bhaktapur are no less glorious than its artistic masterpieces. Consequently, the city is still a venue for a great many festivals and cultural dances, many of them as unique as the city itself. While Bhaktapur's Gai-Jatra (July/August) and the tantrically-inspired Nava Durga Dance (October-June), which is comprised of the city's protectress deities, are the "only ones of their kinds" in Nepal, the Bisket Jatra (April), one of Nepal's greatest and most exciting festivals, is the only such event observed according to the official solar calendar. Besides the physical monuments and cultural festivities, the Newars of Bhaktapur have also inherited a long history of craftsmanship. It is here where visitors can have rare close-up views of Nepal 's master craftsmen giving continuity to their time-honored traditions of art. In its two famed Pottery Squares, they can see potters giving shape to lumps of clay on their traditional wooden wheels. Besides, they also encounter the city's well-acclaimed artisans who, with their wondrously skilled hands, produce a great variety of handicrafts. Bhaktapur's indigenous handicraft varieties include paubha scroll paintings, papier-mâché masks, cotton cloth, woodcarvings, metal work, jewelers and ceramic products. In addition, the home-spun haku-patasi (black sari), black cap and the delicious Juju-dhau (Curd), literally the "King of all yogurt varieties", have also made this city a favored spot for tourists and the Nepalese alike.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square :
Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square is the gem not only of Bhaktapur, but also of the entire nation. The most fascinating structure here is the world-renowned 55-Window Palace. The elaborately carved windows and doors are something that visitors simply cannot help admiring. The seat of royalty before 1769 AD, the building now houses the National Art Gallery—the museum better known for its rich collection of paubha scroll paintings and breathtaking artworks in stone.
The world famous Golden Gate rubs shoulders with the 55-Window Palace. An unparalleled specimen of repousse art dating back to 1756 , it is the entrance to the marvelous Taleju Temple Complex. Getting into it leads to a number of artistically designed chowks (courtyards) including the Royal Bath, which is adorned with the well-admired Golden Faucet among others.
Another artwork that unfailing-ly bewitches visitors in the Square is the Big Bell. Big enough to match its name, the bell was erected by Ranajit Malla (r. 1722-1769), Bhaktapur’s last Malla king. It wasused in those days for paying homage to Goddess Taleju, the lineage deity of Malla rulers, as well as to call assemblies of the citizens to discuss on given subjects concerning the state. Today, it is rung twice a day as a mark of tribute to the goddess. Right next to it is a smaller Barking Bell. To one’s surprise, all dogs around it start whining the moment it is rung by its caretaker.
The Yaksheswor Mahadev Temple equally adds to the Square’s unparallaled beauty. Named after its builder king, Yaksha Malla (r. 1428-82), the two-storied pagoda was constructed after Kathmandu’s world famous Pashupatinath temple. It is noted for its wooden struts full of erotic carvings.
Other notable monuments in and around the historic Durbar Square are: the octagonal Chyasin Mandap, Siddhi Laxmi Temple, Shiva Temple (Fasi-dega), Vatsala Temple, Bhandarkhal Complex, Chatu Brahma Mahavihar, Indrayani Temple, Balakhu Ganesh Temple, Tripura-sundari Temple and the Char Dham symbolizing the four greatest Hindu pilgrimage sites.
The Nyataponla Temple presides over the Taumadhi Square. Dating back to 1702 AD, the colossal five-storied edifice is the country’s tallest pagoda temple. The struts, doors, windows and tympanums—each embellished with attractively carved divine figures—perfectly portray the creative tradition of Newar craftsmen. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Siddhi Laxmi, the manifestation of female force and creativity. The latest major renovation of this monument was carried out in 1997 AD by Bhaktapur Municipality using the revenue it collected from tourists.
Next to the Nyataponla Temple is the rectangular shaped Bhairavnath Temple. It houses a gilded bust of Bhairav, the ferocious manifestation of Lord Shiva. The three-storied pagoda was razed to the grounds by the 1934-earthquake, and its latest renovation was undertaken by Bhaktapur Municipality in 1995 AD.
The enclosed complex facing the Nyataponla Temple is dedicated to Tilmadhav Narayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, who is one of the Supreme Triumvirate of Hindu pantheon. A few steps ahead it, to the southwest, lies the famous Pottery Square, where visitors can see the city’s well-known potters making variously shaped and sized earthenware. The major monumental highlight of this square is a temple of Jeth Ganesh, which dates back to the 14th century.Temples in Taumadi Square: Nyatapola Temple, Bhairav Temple, Teel Mahadeve Narayan Temple and many more.
The Dattatreya Square is Bhaktapur's third dazzling gem. The seat of royalty till the 15th century, the area still houses a great number of historic monuments including many wondrous Maths (residential mansions) and temples.The Dattatreya Temple is the main attraction of the Square. Constructed by King Yaksha Malla, the giant three-storied temple is believed to have been built with the stem of a single tree. Having defied series of calamities, it still bears testimony to the incredible achievement made in those regal days of the Nepalese history.
The Wane Layaku complex, which lies to the south-western corner of the Dattatreya temple, is noted for Bhaktapur's second Taleju shrine. Enclosed with old houses, the courtyard sees throngs of people, especially during the Mohani ( Dashain ) festival, when a rare Ghau-batacha (Water Clock) is put on public display. During the Malla Era, the water-clock was used by the then rulers and astrologers for fixing "propitious moments" for commencing and concluding various state and social ceremonies.
The Peacock Window , which is also called the " Mona Lisa of Nepal ", is a rare masterpiece in wood. Dating back to the early 15th century, the unique latticed window has an intricately carved peacock in its center. The window adorns the Pujari Math which, with rows of exquisitely carved windows and doors, is equally appealing. The building presently houses the Woodcarving Museum . The museum has a rich collection of unique pieces in wood.The Brass & Bronze Museum , housed in the historic Chikanpha Math , is the next highlight of the Square. It has a wide collection of bronze and brasswares including the ritual jars, utensils, water vessels, pots, spittoons and similar other household items.Near the Dattatreya Square is the Wakupati Narayan Temple . Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the two-storied structure is a unique specimen of pagoda architecture. Next to it is bhaktapur's second Pottery Square .Besides Bhaktapur's three well-acclaimed Squares, there are many other spots within the expanse where visitors can experience a lot more. The recently-restored Ta-Pukhu (Siddha Pokhari) , Ancha-Pukhu , Khancha-Pukhu , Barahi Temple , Lokeswor Mahavihar , Nava Durga Temple , the Terra-cotta Windows at Tuchhimala and Nepal's largest Shiva Lingum at Hanumanghat are some of Bhaktapur's monumental glories which tourists visiting this ancient city simply do not like to miss.
Bhaktapur has two famous pottery squares. One is located at Talac towards the southern part of he Durbar Square and another one located ate Suryamadhi, to the east of the Dattatraya square. Many potters can be seen working own their traditional wheels and thousands of finished and semi-finished clay produts lie about in beautiful rows under the sun.Potters and their families can be observed busy in preparing the lumps fo black clay for the final shaping, mending some fo the row clay products or adding finer craftsmanship onto the half sone ones. If one is luck , one can even see how they burn these clay products in teh open traditional kilns for days before the final products are ready. Winthin the Talaco pottery square, two important temples of Vishnu and Ganesh can be seen in a very traditional way. Where as in the other portery square, the shrine of Wakupati Narayan with its beautiful wood carved windows, stone sculptures and a sample piece of the pagoda tempel can be obseved.Top
The National Art Gallery :
Contains ancient and medieval paintings belonging to Hindu and Buddhist schools depicting Tantrism of various periods and descriptions.Nyatapola Temple :
This five-storey pagoda was built in 1702 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. It stands on a five-terraced platform. On each of the terraces squat a pair of figures. This is one of the tallest pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship.
Bhairavnath Temple :
This temple was first built as a one-storey pagoda but was 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 Bhairav, the god of terror.Dattatraya Temple :
Built in 1427 A.D., this temple is said to have been built from the trunk of a single tree. Near this temple is a monastery with exquisitely carved peacock window.
It is religious site for Hindus and Buddhists alike. River banks often used by the local people to burn dead bodies called 'Ghat'. People have the practise of visiting such ghats areas in teh early mornings to wash themselves purifying their body and then to go about visiting temples and images of gods and goddesses, a process of purifying one;s mind and soul. Ghats usually have one or more crematories where the dead bodies are burned to ashes and the ashes in turn are thrown into the rive as a part of Hindu/Buddhist culture. There are several such Ghats in around Bhaktapur. Hunuman Ghat is very popular Ghat in Bhaktapur, it spreads to a larger area with many religious images, objects and structures scattered around in such array that even a non religious perosn would start feeling differently once visiting there. For tourists it is like alking about in an alien land. The largest Shiva Lingam in nepal, temple of Ram , numerous store sculptures, small stupas, shiva lingams, more can be observed in this Ghat area. Visiting this place in the early morning is recomanded. One can observe how a day begins for a religious traditional Newar in Bhaktapur.
Nava Durga Temple:
From a religious point of view, the shrine of Nava Durga the nine manifestations fo Goddess Durga has a high place in Bhaktapur. Nava Durga is also the combination of nine protective mother Goddess of the city. The three storied shrine which lies in Kwathando-4, Bhaktapur also popular for the its elaborately carved windows and doors. It seems huge crowd of devotees during Dashain (October), the greatest festival of Hindu in nepal. A wood carved window and the nothern facade displays the Chariot of Bhairav which has its own importance and meaning.
Kanchu-Pukha located to the south of the Dattatrya square is one of hte most amazing architectural pond. The unique improtance of the pond lies in the fact that it perfectly displays the image of the Nayatapolea Temple. Despite being situated at the distance of over 500m from the temple and densely packed tall houses standing between them, the beautiful reflection can still be viewed and enjoyed.
Wakupati Narayan temple:
At a little distance on teh eastern side of the Dattatraya Square, a loverly specimen in the metalwork, the Wokupati Narayan Temple is enclosed within a stone paved coutyard. This two sotried pagoda style temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu dates back to 1667 AD. No where else other than here would one see four Garudas, the bird vehicle of Lord Vishnu, at a single place in a row.
The temple of Changunarayan is said to be the oldest in the Kathmandu Valley. Listed in the World Cultural Heritage, it is also a scenic spot situated at the altitude fo about 1700m and 4 KM to the north of Bhaktapur and 22 KM east of Kathmandu. The most authentic iscription located in the precinct of Changu Narayan is dated 464 AD and is accredited to the Lichhavi King Mandeva. Changu Narayan Temple , located high in the hill just to the north of Bhaktapur, is the oldest existing pagoda temple in Nepal . The temple was dedicated to lord Vishnu by the Lichhavi King in the Fifth Century. It is said to be the oldest temple in the Valley. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979.
Situated at the walking distance fo about 2 KM to the south of the city is the holy shrine of god Ganesh ( God of well beginning and successful completion of work) . The temple of Ganesh is placed in a sylvan setting to catch the first rays of the rising sun. It is a good picnic spot flanked by many attractive landscapes.
The town of Thimi is well known for its pottery work. In addition to pottery, Thimi has made a name for itself in the age-old art of making colorful masks of various deities, demons and animals. Thimi also produces much of the fresh vegetables for the Kathmandu valley.
Nagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of capital city Kathmandu and about 18 Kilometers from historic city Bhaktapur.Nagarkot is located high on the hill (approximately 7500 ft. above sea level) to the north east corner of Bhaktapur, is famous for its panoramic view of mountains, sun rise and sun set. Nagarkot has availability of different types of accommodations of Five star hotels to small cottage lodges.Its one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Kathmandu to spend the night so that they can be there for the breathtaking sunrise. Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. With an elevation of 2,195 meters, Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Valley and is described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round.