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3.7 /5


Best Time: November-January Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Nearest Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport Check Flights

"The Handicraft City of Nepal"

Patan Tourism

Patan is the third-largest city in Nepal right after Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is presently known as Lalitpur. Both names are derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lalitapattan’. The city is located just across the river Bagmati from Kathmandu. Patan has a Durbar Square that is full of statues, temples, and palaces. In addition, Durbar Square also has the ‘Patan museum’ which is a must-see attraction. It is a traditional centre for handicrafts and is also a place to purchase traditional jewellery, Buddha statues and masks.

Patan was once an independent and a mighty kingdom of the Kathmandu Valley. It has now become a melting pot of two famous religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. A temple of the Hindu Lord Krishna rests right in the middle of the same town whose architecture has been dedicated to the Buddhist Dharma-Chakra (Wheel of Righteousness) philosophy. Its ancestral uniqueness is still moulded into Patan and this distinguishes Patan as a different atmosphere altogether in a short travel.

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Patan is one of the only places in Kathmandu Valley where there's still antiquity to the present. Medieval arts and architecture still remain in its original state. This city of fine arts is well-known for its plethora of talented artists, including sculptors, painters and carvers. Their top-notch skills are still quite evident in the remains of the golden era of Patan. Each and every pagoda, artistic courtyard and royal palace building has captured the history of over 609 years of the city's story and journey through time and civilization. Most of the population in Patan were craftsmen and this results in Patan being a paradise for Nepalese handicrafts.

Handicraft Shopping

For those who love collecting souvenirs from their trips, Patan is a perfect place. This city is known for its stone and metal crafts.

Places for Shopping for Handicrafts in Patan:
  • Jhamsikhel
  • Kopundol Road: One can find a variety of wooden toys, pottery, paintings, carpets, and pillow covers. 
  • Durbar Square: There are many shops where one can find metal and wooden handicrafts. At the south of Durbar Square, you can definitely find popular metalworking shops.
  • Handicraft Center in Jawalakhel: Patan is also a huge centre of the growing carpet industry and you will find amazing carpets and rugs here. Downstairs, you can also see the employees working on the carpets. This centre employs around 1000 refugees to work which is a great initiative. 

History of Patan

The city of Patan is considered to have been located in the 3rd-century BC by the Kirat dynasty which was later extended by the Licchavis in the 6th-century. According to this chronicle, the earliest known centre of Kirat rulers was Thankot. The Mallas further expanded it during the medieval period. In a lot of scriptures, Patan is said to have been founded by King Veer Deva in 299 AD, but it is unanimously agreed that Patan was a well-established and an advanced town since ancient times.

Several historical records show that Patan is the oldest of all the cities that surround the Kathmandu Valley. Patan has a long history related to Buddhism. The four corners of the city of Patan are characterised by stupas that are said to have been constructed by Ashoka, the great Buddhist ruler around 250 BC. Some engravings mention the city's 5th-century palaces. The town was said to be ruled by local noblemen until the reign of King Shiva Malla of Kathmandu who conquered the city in 1597, which temporarily unified the valley. Patan's major building growth took place under the rule of Mallas in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Restaurants and Local Food in Patan

There is a variety of food available in Patan. Most restaurants have traditional Nepali food and also general restaurants have Mediterranean, French, and other types of western food. The set meals combine a 'wo’ which is a lentil or ‘chatamari’ (rice) pancake which is savoury with some excellent Pancha Kwa (stew served with bamboo shoots, potato, and dried mushrooms) for a usual light lunch. 

Must-Visit Restaurants in Patan:
  • If you're craving Nepali food, Newark kitchen is the best option.
  • Mediterraneo serves Spanish food.
  • Café Swotha at Narayan temple serves excellent French food.
  • JaZoo and Jalan serve the best Asian food including Nepali, Chinese, and Thai.

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