Jun 7, 2012

Places to see in patan or patan city tour in Nepal

Places to see in patan or patan city tour in Nepal 
Map of Patan city

Patan/Lalitpur city, popularly known as Patan, is considered as the oldest among the three cities in Kathmandu valley. Also known as the ‘city of fine arts’ Lalitpur is a beautiful medieval city located some eight kilometers south of central Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. The Lalitpur Sub Metropolitan City today is emerging as one of the most vibrant and thriving cities. Due to its rich historic past and living cultural heritage together with the new developments, the city has established itself as an important part of the entire capital region in Nepal in the last few decades.
Lalitpur, since ancient times has been preserving its unique place Source: CBS 2001 and role in the geo-political and economic arena of the country. For many centuries, Lalitpur was a sovereign city-state. In 1768 AD, King Prithivi Narayan Shah assimilated it into the Kingdom of Nepal.
Lalitpur is extremely rich in its arts and architecture and boasts on the largest community of artisans, especially metal and wood workers. In fact, the literary meaning of Lalitpur means the city of fine arts. It nurtures a large number of sacred buildings, temples, pagodas, Stupas and Shikharas, monasteries, math and Chaitya. The city is renowned the world over for its art and craftsmanship and has produced number of famous artists and master craftsmen, the most famous being Arniko, who spread the legacy of this city far and wide.
In other words, Lalitpur may be termed the artistic capital of the country. In recognition, UNESCO has enlisted the conglomerate of the buildings in Patan Durbar Square as a World Heritage Site, one of the seven Heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley.
Located adjacent to the capital city of Kathmandu, LSMC has today become an integral part of the valley capital region, called Greater Kathmandu, consisting of two major cities Kathmandu, and Lalitpur.

Places to see in Patan
The famous city, Patan, is situated on the South of Bagmati River and is about five kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. It is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments with bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings and many visitors come here to see the these monuments.  Patan Durbar square is the famous visiting place, situated in the heart of the city which is the main tourist attraction. The square is full of ancient places, temples, and shrines noted for their exquisite carvings.
The major attraction of Patan Durbar Square is the ancient Royal place itself. It consists of three main chowks, or courtyard, the central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Main Keshab Narayan Chowk. In the northeast corner of the courtyard you will see the temple of Taleju Bhawani which is a triple-roofed octagonal tower, built by King Shree Niwas Malla in 1667. The temple of Degu Taleju is between the central Mul Chowk and Main Keshab Narayan Chowk.

The popular visiting spots in Patan Area :

·        Krishna Mandir
It is the temple of lord Krishna which is famous in Patan built in the seventeenth century by King Siddhi Narshing Malla.

·        Mahabouddha
Walking little further from Patan Durbar Square lies the Buddhist temple of Mahaboudha, made of clay bricks where thousands of images of the Lord Buddha are carved. It is known as the fourteen century Nepalese architectural masterpiece.

·        Hiranya Varna Mahavir
It is located in the courtyard of Kwabahal. This three storey golden pagoda was built in the twelfth century by King Bhaskar Verma. Inside the upper storey of the pagoda, the golden images of Lord Buddha can be found.

Bungamati and Khokana
Situated beyond the southern belt of Ring Road, inside the valley, Bungamati is a small Newari village still abiding its tradition as their significant part of life. Very less influenced by the modern city just a few kilometers far from the village, Bungamati exemplifies true beauty of the still living age old culture and civilization, Your journey to Bungamti, starts with a vantage point where one can behold the entire village of Bungamati and Khokana. Walking down the lanes of Bungamati, you will pass through local Newari people busy working intricate designs in wood or stone on their way to creating many more beautiful artifacts keeping their talents running for the future generations to enjoy. Though, small in size, at least 100 people from the village earn their living through wood carving. The village was earlier, the origin of the precession of the chariot of Machindranath, one of the most important festival of the Newari community. Not far from the village of Bungamati, is another interesting Newari village called Khokana, where an important temple of Durga is situated

Central Zoo
In 1995, Government of Nepal entrusted the management of Nepal’s Central Zoo, the only zoo in Nepal, located at Jawalakhel in the Kathmandu Valley to NTNC for 30 years. Established as a private zoo in 1932 by the late Rana Prime Minister Juddha Samsher, it came under the ownership of Government of Nepal after the political changes of 1950 and remained under the management of various government departments before it’s management was handed over to NTNC on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Birthday Celebration of the Late Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in December 1995.

The Trust aims to develop the Central Zoo as a center for ex-situ wildlife research and conservation education. The Central Zoo, with an area of about 6 ha., provides shelter to a total of 870 individual mammal, bird, fish and reptile of 109 species. It also serves as recreational center for the visitors. Central Zoo uniquely serves as a historical cultural site for diverse groups of people.

Over one million visitors come to enjoy the displays at the Central Zoo annually. The main source of income has been the revenue collected from the entry ticket sales. With an aim of generating public awareness and participation in nature and wildlife conservation, the Central Zoo has been successfully running a special membership based program called the “Friends of Zoo” (FOZ) with a network of schools in Kathmandu Valley. The animal management unit is improving and enriching the enclosures to provide better habitats for the zoo animals and are now in a better situation with the operation of a recently established “Animal Hospital”. New displays, of national and international species, are often added in order to educate and to introduce the visitors to the different wild species from within the country and abroad.

Golden Temple
To simply call this magnificient monument a mere temple is not sufficient enough to express its architectural grandeur. It would be more appropriate to call it the most fascinating monastery complex ever built in Patan and dedicated to Lord Buddha.

Hidden away from noisy streets and squares this gorgeous golden temple complex in fact is only a few minutes discovery walk from Patan Durbar Square. This magnificient golden structure is a good example of monastic architecture of Nepal and was built by King Vaskar Verma in early 12th century.

Patan Museum
The Patan Museum was inaugurated in 1997 by  Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah. The museum quadrangle, known as Keshav Narayan Chowk, takes its name from the temple in the center of the mrain courtyard and is best known for its beautiful facade framing the golden door and window. This and two adjacent palace courtyards have it long and important history as a palace of the Malla kings of Patan. The renovation of this architectural gem for use as it Museum and educational and cultural center was a 14 year endeavor, funded by the Austrian Government and directed by the architect Gotz Hagmuller. The idea of establishing a new museum of Nepali art in this historic building was an obvious one. Two comprehensive state collections existed in Patan but they were inadequately displayed and researched. A majority of the sculptures in these collections are actually stolen objects which have been recovered by Nepali police and customs.
Mary S. Slusser, the eminent cultural historian, created the innovative spatial and educational design of the exhibition, choosing 200 objects from the existing collection of 1.500 pieces and providing the scholarly identification, dating, and description of each object. The Smithsonian Institution generously provided additional expertise in conservation and exhibition design. The main galleries are devoted to Hindu and Buddhist Sculptures of Nepal, many of which were created in the nearby workshops of this citv, a centre of ntetalcraft for the region. The techniques of "lost wax" metal casting and repoussc are explained in the Technology Gallery.
As Patan is known for its Buddhist architecture, a special section focuses on ancient Buddhist monuments known as chaityas or stupas, using models, drawings and photographs as well as devotional objects. In addition, there is a fascinating collection of historic views, documenting the Kathmandu Valley a century ago.

Patan Industrial Estate
Patan Industrial Estate is situated at Lagankhel in Lalitpur near Satdobato. This Industrial Estate is well known for Nepali handicrafts such as weood carvings, metal crafts, carpets and thangka paintings. For the convenience of the tourists there is a shopping arcade where all handicraft products of the estate is exhibited.

Kumbheshwore Temple
A Short walk from the Golden Temple monastry to the north standing with great distinction is Nepal’s oldest five storey temple (the other more famous Nyatapola temple of Bhaktapur was built in 17th century). This 15th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is popularly known as Kumbheshwore.
Numerous religious sculptures and shrines scattered in and around this temple complex speak a lot about the importance of this place. Some people call this the mini – Pashupati area (the largest Hindu temple complex of Nepal) because of many similar structures shown here are similar to those in Pashupati.
One of the main structures to be seen here is the beautiful silver shrine dedicated to goddess Banglamukhi. This shrine attracts thousands of devotees especially on Thursdays, as many believe this powerful goddess grants all the wishes her devotees make.
Another important site here is the Kumbheshwore Kunda (after which the whole temple complex is named). It is believed that the source of this small reservoir is Gosaikunda Lake in the Himalayas some 14000 feet above sea level. A big religious fair is held here every year on Janaipurnima Day in April.

Sikabahi Temple
A short walk from Yampi Stupa leading to Bagmati river brings you to a histiric pagoda style temple called Sikabahi dedicated to a Hindu mother goddess called Chamunda.
There are several Buddhist stone sculptures such as small chaityas, mandalas, partly damaged Buddhist figures and so on in this temple area. Some of them possibly date back to 8-9th century A.D. This place of worship holds great religious significance which attracts Hindus and Buddhists both.

Jagat Narayan Temple
On the bank of Bagmati river near the Ghat, peacefully located inside a huge courtyard is a beautifully built Shikhara style terracotta temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu popularly known as Jagat Narayan.
This 19th century temple was built by the member of a rich Rana family named Jagat Sumshere who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. It is said that he named this temple as Jagat Narayan to demonstrate his devotion to Lord Vishnu.
Some of the important structures located in this temple complex include the skillfully sculpted stone statues of Vishnu set in the main body of the temple along with the life size statue of Hanuman, Garuda and Ganesh, a bronze Garuda pillar plus a stately priest house with many lavishly carved wooden windows.

Acchheswor Mahavihar
It was established towards the beginning of the seventeenth century by one Acchheshwor by building a temple to house an idol of Lord Buddha. The Mahavihar has recently been reconstructed. Situated behind the Ashokan Stupa at Pulchowk, the Mahavihar commands a beautiful view of The Kathmandu Valley.

Mahabuddha temple
Mahabuddha temple is a Buddhist temple made up of terracotta, situated in the heart of kathmandu valley. 8 kms southwest from Tribhuvan International Airport. This 500 year old temple can be taken as the treasury of Nepalese art and craft.
The Mahabuddha temple is a great pilgrim for the Buddhist practitioners. Buddhists from all over the world come, worship the Buddha and feel eternal peace and satisfaction. The temple has proven to be a wonder to the cultural and archeological tourists.
This ancient historical temple is constructed under a typical architectural style called "Shikhar saili". The temple is build up of terracotta, each consisting Buddha images and other arts. Such terracotta is made up of very special material composing extracted clay, herbs and others to make the terracotta strong and pure, These terracotta are rather attached to each other with norma mud or cement but with a special mixture of different herbs etc. called "vajra". The temple composes of thousand Buddha statues. So it is even called "sangetongu" in Tibetan language meaning "temple of thousand Buddha". The temple is probably the best and first temple built up of terracotta in the country.
On the ground floor of the temple the icon of shakyamun Buddha displaying earth touching gesture is established. On the first floor Amitabha Tathagata is installed. Similarly, on the second third fourth and fifth floor Panchajinalaya Svayambhu Chaitya, Dharmadhatu Mandala, Vajradhatu Mandala, and sunyaniranjan Chaitya are established respectively. The temple is surmounted by Usnish Cudamani suvarna chaitya the total height of the temple is about 60 feet.
In this locality , the temple of Akasha Jogini Shree Vidhyadhari Devi is already exist where the lord of knowledge Manjushree also  present before the construction of Mahabuddha temple the old manuscript of Pragyaparmita is also preserved here and daily recited . Because of these three auspicious aspects it is believed that the people of this locality could gain popularity in the field of Silpa Vidhya Knowledge. The five sons of Pt. Abhaya Raj Shakya or their family members carry out the daily rituals worships of the Vidhyadhari and Mahabuddha temple for one month turn by turn

Godavari is located approximately ten kilometers from both Patan and Kathmandu, and many outdoor enthusiasts flock here to enjoy the breathtaking views and beautiful landscapes. It is known as one of the popular hiking destinations in Nepal for its rich wildlife and natural splendor. Visitors can reach Godavari by bus from Patan and they are able to catch a glimpse of quaint towns such as Thaiba and Harisiddhi along the way.
The historical aspects of Godavari date back to the Kirat Period, during the uprising of the Soma dynasty. King Nimisha became the first king in Nepal to originate from the Soma dynasty and took up his position in 205 AD. With Nimisha defeating King Gasti and taking his throne the Kirati reign over Nepal came to an end. King Nimisha constructed his new palace in the town of Godavari and was also responsible for the restoration of the Pashupatinath Temple, including the erection of the four faced linga. Nimisha’s victory and rule brought about the Godavari-Mela festival that is still celebrated in Godavari. The festival only takes place every twelve years and visitors that are lucky enough to be in the area during this period should appreciate and enjoy every moment.
The Royal Botanical Garden in Godavari attracts many local residents and visitors over the weekends. The garden is an extravaganza of plants, trees, ferns, flowers and orchids. Most of the plants within the garden are marked, making recognition much easier. Godavari is also famous for its breathtaking butterflies, which can be seen gliding peacefully amongst the beauty and splendor of the garden. Avid bird watchers can be spotted in the garden, patiently waiting to view some of the rare and unique birds.
Another popular attraction in Godavari, is the Godavari Kunda, or Godavari Spring. It is a sacred and religious site that is absolutely fascinating. Gargoyles carved from stone will lead visitors to the tank of sacred water. This water flows from within the temple’s courtyard to the tank. Many legends are connected to the spring and the Madras River. The marble quarry that has operated in the region since the year 1890 has caused mass deforestation, exposing the 2 762 meter Pulchowki mountain. Visitors that summit the “Place of Flowers” will find the Pulchowki Mai shrine, in dedication to the goddess of the forest. Godavari is also home to the Mohan Meakin Brewery and a meteorological observatory.
Godavari is one of the most picturesque and diverse destinations in Nepal and has much to offer visitors. From fascinating sights, breathtaking natural beauty and a rich history, just waiting to be discovered.

Phulchowki is the largest peak in the Kathmandu Valley which is situated 20km south-east of Kathmandu. It can be easily reached by taxi in an hour. Before reaching Phulchowki comes the Godavari Gardens. The Phulchowki & Godavari forests are famous for different flower and bird species.
Godavari is the base of the hill Phulchowki, which is at height of 2758m. Hiking up to Phulchowki hill inside the dense jungle, one can site beautiful birds and cross small natural streams. After the exhilarating hour trek, reaching the amazing vantage point is the best part, where a clear day will thrill you with close up view of the entire range of snowy mountains from Mt. Everest in the east to Dhaulagiri in the west.
Along the trails early morning it is possible to see 2 species of Tesia, so long as you are first to walk the path. As the track leads up the mountain following the stream, take the small side path along a little valley instead of following the track to the left and look for the tesias here. 265 species of birds have been recorded here.
The places of interest in the area are the Godavari Kunda, Phulchowki Mai Temple and enjoyable walks to the giant Shanti Ban Buddha or shrine of Bishankhu Narayan
The 10km road from the Kathmandu Ring south of Patan passes through the village of Godavari to an open space at the foot of the hills. Here a partially sealed road continues south to Phulchowki Mai Temple and on to Phulchowki Mountain; the main road veers left (northeast) 1km past an ashram to the gardens and Godavari Kunda.
The road from Kathmandu passes several large plant nurseries, highlighting the region's botanical importance and commercial viability.

Krishna Mandir
The Krishna temple on the west side of Patan's Darbar square was built in 1637. Legend says that it was built because of a dream. One night, King Siddhi Narasigh Malla dreamt that the gods Krishna and Radha were standing in front of the palace. The King ordered a temple built on the same spot. During a war with a neighboring kingdom a decade lator, the King emerged victorious after calling on Krishna to vanquish his enemies. In gratitude, the King built a replica of the temple inside the Sundari Chauk courtyard.
The Krishna temple is built in the Shikhara style, imported from India. Beneath its 21 golden pinnacles are three floors. The first floor enshrines Krishna, the second Shiva, and the third Lokeshwor. Scenes from the Ramayana narrated in Newari script decorate the interior of the temple.
The temple is managed by local Brahmins and is still used.

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