Patan is known as the Royal City or City of Beauty and is located five miles south of Katmandu on the southern side of the Bagmati River. It is one of three settlements of the ancient Kings of Nepal with over 1,200 monuments. Another UNESCO site is eight miles from Katmandu, named Bhaktapur or place of devotees with the best preserved ancient city center. It’s also known for the best sweet yogurt, so you must try some.
Patan and Bhaktapur are important religious centers for Buddhist and Hindu faiths.
The first historic records show Emperor Ashoka arriving in the valley near Patan with his daughter in 250 B.C. He established the geographic outlines of Patan with four holy stupas. This makes the shape of the UNESCO world heritage site into the symbol of a Buddhist Wheel of Righteousness.
The royal palace of the Malla Kings was first built in the 3rd century B.C. by the Kirat Dynasty and is now a museum and an architectural wonder.
although the majority of Durbar Square is from Medieval times. Evidence of severe architectural damage remain from the 2015 earthquake. Scaffolding and bracing of buildings precariously hold walls from collapsing as reconstruction follows a snails pace.
It’s not hard to imagine camal trains carrying salt along the twisting streets of Bhaktapur.
It was also a royal city with craftsman in Medieval times and the provenance continues today. Artists work in shops carving wood, metal work, stone, clay, and jewelry.
I loved both cities from the history, architecture, and shopping. I felt sorry for our very patient guides as the ladies kept creeping into doorways. I would have loved to wander with my camera for another round about both places. This is a photographer’s dream location, because you don’t know what you’ll see from one moment to the next.