Patan Durbar Square
After Boudnath we proceeded to the world Heritage site of Patan Durbar square which is also called as the "City of Fine Arts". It's also called Lalitpur, which means "City of Beauty". In the small, mountain-sheltered valley of Nepal namely Kathmandu is the place where kingdoms rose and fell, palaces and temples were built, destroyed and rebuilt, and the Nepali art and culture were developed and refined. Apart from Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are the other two places were palaces and beautiful temples were built. Patan is the second-largest city of Nepal and is separated from Kathmandu by Bagmati River, but for all practical purposes they are continuous. In Nepal Durbar means Palace , there are darbar squares in front of these three old palaces.
Patan has a long Buddhist history and it's four corners are marked by stupas built by Emporer Ashoka. The main development of this town took place under the Malla Kings during 16th to 18th century especially during the reign of Siddhnarsingh Malla. Patan's central Durbar square is packed with temples, undoubtedly the most stunning display of Newari architecture. These temples are of diverse style also there are many bahals(Buddhist monastries) are scattered around this fascinating Patan town. The rectangular square has its longer axis on the north-south and the palace forms the east side of the square.
Vehicles are stopped at Patan Dhoka city gate bus stop and we have to walk around 2 Km to reach the durbar square. The entry fee is 200 Nepal Rupees. The statues of Lord Ganesh, Lord Narasimha the fierce form of Lord Vishnu and Hanuman guard the square.
The marvelous wooden carving of the buildings
The palace itself is a three-storey building with excellently carved roof, windows and doors especially supports of the roof are carved with deities with multi-hands. The Garuda panel unique to Nepal is also found in the front door of the palace. The palace has been now converted into a museum . The bronze statues of Ganges and Yamuna are worth mentioning .
Minute beautiful architecture of Front door of the Palace
Facing the palace are a row of temples. The Bhimsen temple dedicated to the God of trade and business forms the Northern end. This is a three storey temple and a lion tops a pillar in front of the temple to show the extraordinary power of Bhima the hero of Mahabharatha. Next to palace is sunken Manga Hiti which has a lotus shaped pool and three wonderfully carved stone crocodile-head spouts. Next to this is the Mani mantap a pavilion built for crowning of the kings. Next to Bhimsen temple is the Vishwanath temple This is a two storey pagoda style temple with two large elephants guarding the temple and has Nandi in front of the Lord Shiva who is worshipped in the form of Shiva Lingam. .
Garuda panel with Shiva Lingam
Continuing into the square we reach the Krishna Mandir, built in Indian style. This is a three storey temple . The first and second floors are made up of Lion pavilions top of the temple rises like a corn. Opposite the temple is the Garuda pillar the top of which is decorated with a beautiful Garuda with folded hands. Lord Krishna's shrine is there in the third floor. On the rear side there is a shrine for Lord Rama. Also all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are beautifully carved in this floor. In the first floor we find the carvings depicting the episodes of Mahabaratha and in the second floor episodes from Ramayana. The two great epics of India. Next to Krishna Mandir is Jagannarayan temple ,the plinth of this made of brick and two lions guard this temple.
Beautiful bronze statue of River yamuna
In front of the palace on the top of a column is the statue of King Yogendra Malla. The golden figure of the kneeling king, protected by a hooded cobra and a bird above the cobra. behind the statue of the King are the three smaller Vishnu temples. Next to these temples id the pagoda style Hari Shankar temple dedicated to half-Vishnu, half-Shiva deity. we also see the large bell hanging between the two stout pillars.
Closeup of Krishana Mandir
The beautiful Garuda facing Lord Krishna
Then there is the octagonal Krishna temple opposite to this temple is the Sundari chowk which houses the sunken Tusha Hiti in which are carved in stone Ashta Matrikas( Eight Mothers), Eight Bhairavs and Eight Nagas. Next to Sundari chowk is the Mul Chowk in the middle of which stands the small Bidya temple.
Sikara style Jagannath temple
Many temples of Patan square
Marvellous wooden carvings
Kumari Bahal ( House of the Living Goddess)
Nepalis worship a real living girl as a Kumari Devi. This living Goddess resides in a building known as the Kumari Bahal, right beside the Kathmandu's Durbar square. The Kaumari is selected from a particular Newari Gold Smiths. Customarily she is somewhere between 4 years old and puberty and must meet 32 physical requirements and horoscope also should match. The selected Kumari is worshipped as Living Goddess still she reaches puberty. After the nice visit ti Patan Durbar square we travelled to Boudnath.