Patan trekking information


27° 40' 24.204" N, 85° 19' 30.918" E

Patan is one of the major cities of Nepal and the official name of this city is “Lalitpur”, which is a Sanskrit word which means “City of Beauty” and its Newari name is “Yala”, which was named after King Yalambe and ever since then this ancient city was known as Yala. Bagmati River separates Patan from Kathmandu. The city is believed to be founded in the 3rd century B.C. and it is the one of the oldest city in the Kathmandu Valley. Patan used to be the most beautiful city among the royal cities – Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Patan city is best known for its finest tradition of arts and craft and it rich culture heritage. Patan has produced the highest number of most talented artists and finest craftsmen ever recorded in Nepalese art history. Patan is spread overs 16 sq. kilometres and it is divided into 22 wards and there are 160,000 people living in Patan.

Patan has said to have founded by King Veer Deva in 299 A.D. and it has many old names such as Yala, Yupagram, Lalitpatan, Maningal. Patan’s major building took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. According to a very old Kirat chronicle, Patan was founded by Kirat rulers long before the Lichhavi rulers came into the political scene in Kathmandu Valley.

Patan has a long Buddhist history. Patan city was designed and built after Buddhist drama Chakra (The wheel of righteousness). The four corners of the city are marked by four big stupas and these monuments are said to have been erected by the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka. There are more than 1200 Buddhist monuments of various sizes spread in and around this city alone.  Patan still outstands with its most wonderful architectural brilliance and exceptional artistic beauty. The in built cultural heritage like the royal palace, with intricately carved doors and windows and beautiful courtyards adorned with exquisite icons enhance the beauty of the city.

Places to Visit:

Durbar Square  – The whole square is a cluster of fine pagoda temples and stone statues. At every step you will testify the consummate skill of Patan’s anonymous artists. The stone water baths associated with different legends and episodes of history are especially interesting to visitors. The stone temple of Lord Krishna and the Royal Bath with its intricate stone and bronze carvings are two other masterpieces in the same vicinity. Patan Durbar Square is one of the most important monumental centre of Patan and it also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. On the square you will find the following interesting temples and buildings:

- Bhimsen Temple – dedicated to the god of trade and business.

- Manga Hiti – Across the Bhimsen Temple there is the sunken Manga Hiti. This one has a cruciform-shaped pool and three wonderfully carved stone in the shape of mythological corocodiles.

- Vishwanathan Temple – It is situated south of the Bhimsen Temple. It is a two-roofed temple which was built in 1627 and it has two large stone elephants guarding the front entrance.

- Krishna Mandir – three storied temple of Lord Krishna This continues to elicit high praise from lovers of art and beauty. It was built by King Sidhhi Narasingha Malla in the 16th century A.D.

- Jagat Narayan Temple – This temple is dedicated to Narayan – one of the Vishnu’s incarnations. It is dated from 1565 and it is said to be the oldest temple in the square. The temple is built from the red bricks and the fine metal statue of Garuda along with similarly places images of Ganesh and Hanuman.

- Hari Shankar Temple - This three storey temple was built in 1704-1705 by the daughter of King Yoganarendra Malla.

- King Yoganarendra Malla Statue - It is situated at the north of Hari Shankar Temple. It is topped by a figure of King Yoganarendra Malla and his queens. The golden figure of the kneeling king, a lotus bud and protected by hood of a cobra has been standing still since 1700.

- Bhai Dega Temple – This temple is also dedicated to Shiva, containing an impressive lingam.

- Taleju Bell - This big bell was erected by King Vishnu Malla in 1736.

- Royal Palace – The whole eastern side of Durbar Square is the Royal Palace. Few parts of the palace were built in 14th century. The Patan palace predates of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.

  -- Keshav Narayan Chowk - It was completed in 1734 and this the newest part of the palace.
  -- Patan Museum – This section of the palace has been nicely renovated. There are few elements added to the building as part of the renovations. The main attraction of the museum is the collection of cast-bronze and gilt-copper work. You need at least one or two hours to visit the museum properly. It also has a nice Museum Café which is in a rear courtyard which was used for dance and drama performance during the Malla period.
  -- Sundari Chowk – It is situated to the south of the Mul Chowk. It is the smaller Sundari Chowk with its nicely carved sunken water tank. The area is slated for renovation as a park by UNESCO.
  -- Mul Chowk – This is the largest and the oldest of the palace’s three main chowks. At the centre of the courtyard stands the small, glided Bidhya Temple. The larger triple-roofed Taleju temple is directly situated at north.


Golden Temple – This three storey Golden Temple was built in the 21st century by King Bhaskar Verma. The main priest in this temple is a young boy under the age of 12, who just give his services for 30 days and then he gives his job to another boy. This large rectangular building has three roofs. Inside the pagoda there is an image of Amoshpash Lokeshwor and a large prayer wheel. This is a beautiful carving on the walls and painting which tells the whole life story of Buddha.

Kumbeshwor Temple – This temple is one of the five storey temple with five roofs. It is said to be dated from 1392, making it the oldest temple in Patan.

Uma Maheshwor Temple – This small and inconspicuous double roofed temple with a very beautiful black-stone relief of Shiva and Parvati.

Rato Machhendranath Temple – It is the Lord of rain and plenty. To Buddhist, he is the Tantric edition of Avalokiteshvara but according to Hindu believers, he is a version of Lord Shiva. This three storey temple dates from 1673. The four carved door are guarded by lion figures. The roofs are supported by struts.

Mahabouddha Temple – It is situated just 10 minutes walk from Patan Durbar Square. It is the masterpiece of brick and tile. In every bricks there are thousand of images of Lord Buddha are engraved. It reveals an art tradition. This temple was built by Abhaya Raj, a priest of Patan. It was damaged the 1934 earthquake but then it was totally rebuild exactly the same as before which shows that the temple craft is still in the bloods of Nepalese.

Rudra Varna Mahavihar (Uku Bahal) – This Buddhist monastery is one of the best known and the oldest in Patan. It holds an amazing collection of images and idols in metal, stone and wood. The monastery dates from 19th century. Many Kings in ancient times were crowned here. You can also have a look at the treasures which was offered by the people at that time.

You can go to Patan by bicycle, taxi, bus, micro bus or tempo. The trip will cost you around Nrs. 250 by taxi, by bus – micro – tempo (Number 14) it will cost you Nrs. 15 which run frequently from Ratna Park, Kathmandu.

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