Bhaktapur, Information about Bhaktapur, Bhaktapur Tour

Bhaktapur

Information about Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur or the city of devotees was founded in 889 AD. Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon is situated about 20 km. to the east of Kathmandu. Bhaktapur was the first city to attain a high level of artistic achievements, after Kathmandu and Patan. The people of this town were very artistic and it contains some of the finest architectural showpieces. The artistic excellence of Bhaktapur is superior than other towns in the valley. Its golden effigies of kings and mythical figures, perched on pillars and roofs and deities looking out from their shrines are fantastic. The town is also known for its pottery, weaving and Nepali caps.

History of Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur has remained relatively unchanged over the centuries. It has also preserved its medieval character better than Patan and Kathmandu and developed independently until Gurkha unification in 1768. After the Gurkha unification, its growth stopped and Kathmandu became the cosmpolitan city and Bhaktapur was merged with Patan. In 1970, it was benefited from the West German, who funded a restoration project. Bhaktapur was the capital of the whole valley from the 14th to 16th century and was fortified in the 15th century. The original centre of the city was the east Square, the Dattatraya temple and the Pujahari Math, but it was later shifted to Durbar Square.

Tourist Attractions in Bhaktapur

The various tourist attractions in Bhaktapur are the Durbar Square, the Palace of 55 windows, Golden Gate, Nyatapola Temple and Bhairavnath Temple.

Durbar Square, Bhaktapur

Durbar Square
The Durbar Square is the major centre of all the activities going in Bhaktapur. This place was greatly destroyed by the 1934 earthquake and became more spacious. This place is still an architectural showpiece with numerous superb examples of the skills of Nepali artists and craftsmen over the centuries. Some of the places which are still present in the Durbar Square are the ruined palace, Siva Parvati temple, Siva temple, two large stone lions, two fine statues that represent the 18-armed Ugrachandi Durga and 12-armed Bhairav and some smaller temples of Rameshwar, Bhadri, Krishna and Shiva. Another main feature of the Durbar Square is the life size gilded statue of Bhupatindra Mall, seated on a tall stone pillar and faces the Golden Gate. This Malla King was responsible for most of the building activity in Bhaktapur. 

The Golden Gate
The Golden Gate is located near the Art Gallery of the Royal Palace. The Golden Gate was built by the last Malla king in the middle of the 18th century. This gate is one of the artistic masterpieces of the valley and set into the glazed brickwork. Percy Brown, the historian also described the Golden Gate as the loveliest work of art in the whole of Nepal. The goddess Kali and Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu is shown killing serpents on the gate. The four-headed and 16 armed figure of Taleju Bhawani, the personal deity of the Malla dynasty is shown below the figure of Garuda.

Bhairavnath Temple
The two-storeyed Bhairavnath Temple stands on the right of Nyatapola Temple. This temple was built in the 17 century but was reconstructed after severe damage caused by the earthquake of 1934. This temple has a dance platform in front and the Shiva and Narayan shrines behind the temple.

Golden Gate, Bhaktapur
Dattatray Temple, Bhaktapur

Dattatray Temple
The Dattatray Temple is situated only about four minutes walk from Bhairavnath Temple. This temple was built in the 15th century and is the oldest temple in Bhaktapur. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There is a pillar and on top of it Garuda sits with his traditional weapons. This temple is believed to have been built from the wood of a single tree.

Pujahari Math monastery
The Pujahari Math Monastery is an ancient monastery and extraordinarily rich in wood carvings. A head priest still lives here. The area is of special interest since it was one of the most extensively restored sections with West German aid. The work has been done with aesthetic care. It also incorporates water and sewage systems for the benefit of the community living here.

Nyatapola Temple
The Nyatapola Temple is situated south of the Durbar Square and at the northern end of the Taumadhi Square. The Nyatapola Temple is the Nepal's largest temple. This 55-storey temple is the highest temple in the valley and a fine specimen of Nepalese architecture and craftsmanship. This temple was built by the King Bhupatindra Malla in 1702. The successive tiled roofs are supported by the extravagantly carved and painted beams and struts. The five pairs of stone carved figues of two wrestlers, elephants, lions, griffins and the tiger and lion goddesses line the steps of the five terraces, which are 10 times stronger than each other. The interior of the temple is Chinese and Thai in character. The wood carvings in this temple are some of the best in Nepal. A fine view of the temple can be had from the road leading out of the valley towards the Tibetan border.

Palace of 55 Windows
The Palace of 55 Windows was built during the early 15th century and later renovated by Bhupatindra Malla in 1754. The balcony with 55 windows is known for its unique and marvellous woodcarving. A part of the palace has been converted into an Art Gallery. Its entrance is flanked by the Hanuman as the Tantric Bhairab and Vishnu as Narsingha. The Art Gallery has a fine collection of thangkas, palm leaf manuscripts, rare paintings and fine examples of the craft heritage of Bhaktapur.

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