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Bhaktapur

3.8 /5

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Best Time: October - November, March - April  Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport Check Flights

"Nepal's Best Preserved Medieval City"

Bhaktapur Tourism

Bhaktapur is one of three medieval cities in the Kathmandu Valley, the other two being Kathmandu and Patan. It is often referred to as Bhadgaon and Khwopa and has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist population. This city is located around 12 kilometres from the capital city of Kathmandu and is divided into three squares, each of them filled with temples and other religious structures. Entry to this town, however, is not free and visitors need to pay a town entry fee of NPR 1500. This goes into the maintenance of the temples in Bhaktapur.

A place for devotees, this city is located in the Eastern part of Kathmandu valley. Bhaktapur, “the city of culture” was unfortunately destroyed during the 7.9 magnitude earthquake in April 2015, causing loss of life and terrible devastation of some of the historically important temples. Nevertheless, the city has been getting back on its feet steadily over the past 4 years and as a result, is one of the most valuable historical cities in Nepal. 

This city is placed on the trade route between India and Tibet and gives a clear view of the Himalayas. Being the third-largest city in Nepal suggests that Bhaktapur is one of the popular tourist destinations with Bhaktapur Durbar Square being the most common attraction.

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History

Bhaktapur is considered to be of immense historical value. Founded in the 12th century by King Ananda Malla, it was once the capital of the Malla Kingdom around the 15th century and was occupied by the Newari ethnicity, which reflects in the architecture as well the pagodas throughout this city. After the 15th century, Bhaktapur was taken over by the Shas from Gorkha and it was renowned for its Mall Yoddha (combat between wrestlers). The history of this place is evident in the temples placed all over Bhaktapur.

Culture & Festivals in Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is predominantly populated with Hindus and Buddhists. Although there are around 19 Buddhist monasteries, shrines, pagodas and monuments, both religions are equally seen in this city. The festivals here are celebrated to mark seasons, pay tribute to gods or remember historical events.

Festivals celebrated in Bhaktapur:
  • Tihar: Festival of lights which are celebrated to remember the goddess of wealth, Laxmi.
  • Bisket Jatra: Nepali New Year
  • Gai Yatra: Cow Festival.
  • Dashain: This is the longest festival in Bhaktapur that lasts for 15 days and is celebrated to worship Lord Durga, something that is similar to Durga Puja during Ashtami in India.

Shopping

Visitors will mostly find Terracotta and Handicrafts to shop for in Bhaktapur. Flower pots, candlesticks, ashtrays, locally made incense sticks, colourful masks and dolls are often found on temple alleys and streets. A great souvenir that visitors often take from here is a clay mask made in different colours which signifies god and this mask can be found anywhere in Bhaktapur.

Restaurants and Local Food in Bhaktapur

Dal-Bhat Tarkari and Wo (lentils) are a few common dishes in Bhaktapur. Apart from that, Wai-wai and Chowmein can also be easily found here.

Here is a list of places to eat in Bhaktapur:
  • Royal curd
  • New Chhen Restaurant that offers Newari food and snacks
  • Temple View Restaurant that is right opposite the Malla King Palace.
  • Namaste Restaurant, a cafe that has a view of Taumadhi Tole
  • New Cafe Te Peacock, an authentic Nepalese cafe.
  • New Watshala Garden Restaurant that offers a fusion between Nepali and Belgian food
  • No-Name Restaurant that offers good Wo.

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