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Bhaktapur

3.8 /5

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Best Time: March - April Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport Check Flights

"The Land of Devotees"

Bhaktapur Tourism

Bhaktapur is one of three medieval cities in 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, Kathmandu and is divided into three squares, each of them filled with temples and religious architectures of Nepal. 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 rebuilding steadily over the past 4 years and as a result, is one of the most valuable historical locations in Nepal. 
This city is placed on the trade route between India and Tibet and gives a clear view of the Himalayas above. Being the third largest city in Nepal suggests that Bhaktapur is one of the popular tourist destinations in Nepal 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). Hence, visitors can see the muscular craved wrestlers at the temples as “guardians of the city”. The history of this place is evident in the temples placed all over Bhaktapur.

What to do

  • Visit the Bhaktapur Durbar Square which is filled with cultural buildings, carvings and temples.
  • Visit the Taumadhi Square, the site of The Nyatapola temple, one of the tallest temples in Nepal with 5 tiers.
  • Check out Dyattraya Square which is the oldest royal squares where the three-tier royal temple is situated.
  • See Golden Gate which is one of the most intricate gates in the world.
  • Visit the Pashupatinath wooden temple.
  • Go to the Siddhi Laxmi Temple which was built in the 17th century. It was destroyed during the 2015 earthquake and has been under repair since then.
  • Visit The Peacock window which is filled with precious wood carvings and craft stores.
  • Take a look at Vatsala Durga Temple and Taleju Bell which were constructed during the Malla Kingdom.
  • Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the earthquake and is under reconstruction now.
  • Check out the palace of Fifty-Five windows

Culture

Bhaktapur is predominantly filled with Hindu and Buddhists. There are around 19 Buddhist monasteries, shrines, pagodas and monuments. However, both religions are equally seen in this city. The festivals here are celebrated to mark seasons, pay tribute to gods or remember historical events. For instance, Tihar is the festival of lights which is celebrated to remember the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Bisket Jatra is the Nepali New Year celebration. Gai Yatra is the Cow Festival. The longest festival in Bhaktapur is Dashain 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 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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