Bhaktapur is the third largest city of Kathmandu valley; its means the “city of devotees” and is renowned for its elegant art, culture and colorful festivals. The local name of this city is ‘Khwopa’. It is 13km outside Kathmandu and lies on the eastern side of the Tibetan trade route. Bhaktapur is situated at an altitude of 1401 meters. Kind Anand Dev Malla founded the city in AD 889. The city is shaped like a conch shell,, one of emblems of the God Vishnu. Bhaktapur was the capital of greater Malla kingdom until the second half of the 15 th century. Bhaktapur development project has done much to improve the city’s infrasture, economy and played a major role to preserve Bhaktapur’s historical character.Till trhe time of Yasha Malla (1492) it was the capital of Malla kingdom. This is the more preserved and restored city compared to patan and Kathmandu . The old name of the city is Bhadgoan that means, ” Rice City “.Some Sightseeing Palaces in Bhaktapur.
Places to See in Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like the lion gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the picture gallery, the golden gate, the palace of 55 windows, the batsala temple and the bell of barking dogs, etc. The statue of the King Bhupatindra Malla in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace of the many statues available in Nepal this is considered to be the most magnificent.
The National Art Gallery:
Contains ancient and medieval paintings belonging to Hindu and Buddhist schools depicting Tantrism of various periods and descriptions.
The Golden Gate:
The Golden Gate is the entrance to the main countyard of the palace of 55 windows. Built King Ranjit Malla, the gate is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind in the entire world. This gate is embellished with deities and monsters of marvellous intricacy.
The Palace of 55 Windows:
The Palace of 55 Windows was built in the 17th century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Among the brick walls with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is a masterpiece of wood carving.The Stone Temple of Batsala Devi which is also located in the Durbar Square is full of intricate carvings. This temple also sets a beautiful example of Shikhara style of architecture in nepal. There is a bronze be on the terrace of the temple which is also known as the “bell of barking dogs”. This colossal bell, placed in 1737 A.D. was used to sound curfew during that time.
This five storey Pagoda was built in 1702 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. It stands in a five-terraced platform. On each of the terraces squat a pair of figures; two famous wrestlers, two Elephants, two Lions, two Griffins and “Baghini” and “Singhini” – the Tiger and the Lion Goddesses. This is one of the tallest Pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship.
This temple was first built as a one storey pagoda but 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.
Built in 1427 A.D. this temple is said to have been built from trunk of a single tree. Near this temple is a monastery with exquisitely carved peacock windows
Situated at the end of a long ridge which runs well into the valley, it is said to have been built by King Hari Dutta in 323 A.D. and said to be the oldest temple in the valley.