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About Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is an ancient newar city located in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, approximately 13 km (8 miles) from the Kathmandu Valley. Also known as an open museum, it is home to some of the best preserved historical monuments including palaces, courtyards, temples, pagodas, monuments, craftwork, hand-crafted peacock windows, etc, reflecting mostly Hinduism. It has two of the seven monument zones within the Kathmandu Valley listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There in also a rich concentration of culture and tradition among the Newars of Bhaktapur. We have our own festivals, music and dances. The entire city is full of historical masterpieces.

Bhaktapur is also famous for it’s marvellous crafts including pottery, weavery, thanka and masks and is popular for its mask dances that reflect the lives of different Gods and deities. The name Bhaktapur literally translates to “City of Devotees”, thus one can expect to find a multitude of religious places, monuments and events in Bhaktapur. The place is renowned as the city of Gods.

Major Places of Attraction

Ancient Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur Durbar Square (‘Layaku’ in Newari language) is one of the two World Heritage Site located in Bhaktapur. It is a historical plaza in front of the royal palace of old Bhaktapur Kingdom and is one of the most visited tourist sites of the Kathmandu Valley. It is full of historical monuments such as the 55 Window Palace, National Art Gallery,  Big Bell, Golden Gate, Statue of Bhupatindra Malla, Pashupatinath Temple and the Vatsala Devi Temple.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Taumadhi Square

Taumadhi Square is famous for the Nyatapola Temple and The Bhairav Temple. It is an open area located just south-east of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

The Nyatapola Temple is one of the oldest temples still in existence today. It is a five-storey pagoda style temple of Goddess Siddhi Laxmi erected by King Bhupatindra Malla during a 7-month period from late 1701 into 1702. The huge staircase of this temple has multiple pairs of unique stone sculptures, one on each side. The bottom two statues are those of Rajput wrestlers Jayamal and Phattu. The temple is well built as it survived both the 1934 and the 2016 earthquake. 

Dattatraya Square is another square in the Bhaktapur City, located just a kilometer east of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. It is home to the infamous Dattatraya Temple and a couple of smaller historical buildings, which have now been converted to guest houses and restaurants.  
The Dattatraya Temple is a unique three-tier pagoda style temple devoted to Dattatreya, a hybrid deity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It was built by King Yaksha Malla in 1427 and is said to have been build from the timber of a single tree. It has also withstood both the earthquakes.

Dattatrey Square
Pottery Square

Pottery Square is an area south of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, where people make various pots out of clay. The most famous one is the ‘Khutruke’, which is basically a piggy bank. Visiting pottery square is like taking a step back in time, as one can watch the local inhabitants making Traditionally spun and fired clay pots. Every person has their own role, be it bringing in clay, spinning them into pots, tending to them or baking them in the sun. It is very refreshing to witness generations of family at work together.  

Changu Narayan Temple is the oldest temple of Nepal. It is double-roofed pagoda style temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple dates back to around 3000 years. It is perched atop a hill overlooking the rice-fields of Bhaktapur, around 22 km from Kathmandu and 6.6km north of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The site was heavily damaged in the 2016 earthquake and was closed down, but it has since been renovated and reopened for visitors again.

Changu Narayan Temple

Siddha Pokhari (Ta-Pukhu) is a rectangular pond located near the mini bus park of Bhaktapur. It was built in the fifteenth century, during the reign of King Yaksha Malla. It is associated with a number of myths, and is a common hangout spot for many. Hundreds of devotees gather around this pond the next day of Indra Jatra and worship Goddess Indrayeni.