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Bhaktapur

Nepal Tourist Attraction Bhaktapur Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon (pronounced bud-gown and meaning 'City of Rice') in Nepali, or Khwopa (City of Devotees) in Newari, is the third major town of the valley. Traffic free, the traditionally intact town is also in many ways the most timeless. The cobblestone streets link a string of temples, courtyards and monumental squares, and the sidestreets are peppered with shrines, wells and water tanks.

The lack of traffic makes walking through Bhaktapur a pleasure and certainly more enjoyable than walking in Kathmandu. The town's cultural life is also vibrant, with centuries-old traditions of craftsmanship and strong communities of potters, woodcarvers and weavers. Look for rice laid out to dry in the sun, people collecting water or washing under the communal taps, dyed yarns hung out to dry, children's games, fascinating shops and women pounding grain - there's plenty to see.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace.

The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeeth century. The art gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open everyday except Tuesday.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:
Inside:

  • Golden Gate: This is the main entrance to the famous 55-window palace, built by Ranjit Malla in 7 th century A.D.
  • Nyatapola: This is the most famous pagoda of Nepal, which was built in 1702A.D. by Bhupatendra Malla. This temple was dedicated to Siddhi-Laxmi, the tantric mother goddess of supreme power. Nyatapola in Newari means a five tiered symbolizing five basic elements - water, earth, fire, wind and sky.
  • 55 window palace: This is the main structure of the entire Durbar Square, which is a magnificient edifice built by Yakshya Malla and renovated by Bhupatendra Malla.
  • Pashupati Temple: According to a folklore, a Bhaktapur King who was a great devotee of Lord Pashupati, had a dream in which Lord Shiva told him to build a temple for him so that he could move into it. He obeyed this command and thus the temple came into existence.

Out Side:

  • Changu Narayan is the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley. Listed in the World Cultural Heritage, it is also a scenic spot situated at the altitude of about 1700m and 4 KM to the north of Bhaktapur and 22 KM east of Kathmandu. The most authentic inscription located in the precinct of Changu Narayan is dated 464 AD and is accredited to the Lichhavi King Mandeva. Changu Narayan Temple , located high in the hill just to the north of Bhaktapur, is the oldest existing pagoda temple in Nepal . The temple was dedicated to lord Vishnu by the Lichhavi King in the Fifth Century. It is said to be the oldest temple in the Valley. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979.
  • Surya Vinayak is situated at the walking distance fo about 2 KM to the south of the city and is the holy shrine of god Ganesh (God of well beginning and successful completion of work). The temple of Ganesh is placed in a sylvan setting to catch the first rays of the rising sun. It is a good picnic spot flanked by many attractive landscapes.
    Thimi town is well known for its pottery work. In addition to pottery, Thimi has made a name for itself in the age-old art of making colorful masks of various deities, demons and animals. Thimi also produces much of the fresh vegetables for the Kathmandu valley.
  • Nagarkot is nestled on hill at altitude of 2195 meter to the north east corner of Bhaktapur at distance of 18 kilometers. It is famous for its panoramic view of mountains, sun rise and sun set. Nagarkot has availability of different types of accommodations of Five star hotels to small cottage lodges. Its one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the sky is clear. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east.

Get In:
If you are not arriving as part of a tour group, you may take mini bus (bound for Kamal Binayak stop in Bhaktapur) or big bus (bound for Chyamasingha stop in Bhaktapur) from Bus Stop near Bhadrakali. You can save time by taking Express Bus (this does not stop in between except in Maitighar and Sallaghari) from Bagbazar in Kathmandu. Recently, micro buses also started service of suttling between Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, which are pretty fast.

For those who haven't experienced a public bus in South Asia, it will be a way to (literally!) rub shoulders with locals. In either case the ride takes about 40-60 minutes and drops you off just outside of town. The cost of the fare from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur is approximately 35 NRS (Sept 2009) by bus for local people. Average taxi fee from Thamel to Bhaktapur (one way) costs about 800-1000 NRS for the 16 km drive. You can easily hail a taxi or pick up a return bus to either Patan or Kathmandu just outside of the first main gate that leads into the city.

How this trip makes a difference!
Creative Hands Every booking you make creates a donation. Ghale Treks is a proud supporter of Creative Hands a social welfare organization. We send part of your service charge to Creative Hands who support worthy causes in poorer communities. Your money will go to education, disabled or physically challenged people, street children, victims, and those living in rural and remote areas of Nepal. Read more about the great work that Creative Hands do and where your donation goes here: http://www.creativehands.org.np

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