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Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The ancient city of Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon (as it was known in the old days) is painted with bright colors of Newari culture and brushed with rich architectural wonders.

To speak of the distance, it’s located just about 14kms east of Kathmandu, and has comparatively small traffic than that of Kathmandu. And, like with Kathmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur too has its own magnificent Durbar Square (palace plaza), open to the public and welcome to the tourists. It’s in fact a UNESCO world heritage site.

Let’s hear about some artistic wonders of Bhaktapur.

  • 55 Window Palace (Pachpanna Jhyale Durbar): Buildings these days have hundreds of windows. But have you ever heard of a 15th century palace with 55 windows… I mean artistically carved windows on a balcony?
  • Golden Gate: For the magnificent 55 Window Palace, there is an equally marvelous entrance, the Golden Gate which, let me tell you, is a masterpiece, with its intricately carved nymphs and deities that flash alive in the sun’s light.
  • Nyatapola Temple: Beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful. And, err, … Well, perhaps you can find a better word to describe this five-storied pagoda temple once you get the first-hand look.
  • Bhupatindra Malla’s Statue: Of all the statues, the one most hard to see but easy to admire is the Statue of Bhupatindra Malla. With hands clasped together in a worshipful stance, this ancient ruler faces his palace eternally.
  • Lion’s Gate: Are you afraid of lions? Can you enter the gate to a mythical place without flinching by the sight of two menacing lions? Well, I am sure you will flinch, not by fear but with artistic admiration of the stone lions.
  • Art Gallery:  Inside the palace, parts of which have been turned into a museum, you will discover priceless paintings and ancient artifacts of the Newars.

Other attractions in the Bhaktapur palaca plaza include, but is not limited to, the multi-handed Urachandi and Ugrabhairav statues (sadly, the sculptor’s own hands were later cut off), the temple of Badrinath (an avatar of Lord Vishnu), Gopi Nath Temple (watch out for dual-roofed pagoda architecture), Kedarnath temple (this one flaunts a shikara-style design) and the Hanuman Statue (hail the monkey god!). In case you are animal lovers, you will be awestruck by the copulating elephants carved on the struts of the dual-roofed Shiva-Parvati temple.

Besides temples and deities and their awe-inspiring legends, Bhaktapur is also famous for its Juju Dhau (king of all yogurts).

Other than that, you can also stop by popular Newar hotels and restaurants (or even street shops which has no parallel) to give your tongues a delicious treat.

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