Bhaktapur, situated at an altitude of 1401 m is a home of medieval art and architecture. The urban city covers an area of 4 square miles. Shaped liked a conch-shell, Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies about 14 kilometers east of Kathmandu and can be reached by public transport and by trolley buses. The major sightseeing places in Bhaktapur include:
CHANGU NARAYAN: Situated at the end of the long ridge which runs well into the valley, it is said to have been built in 323 A.D. by King Hari Dutta Varma. The temple is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings. It is said to be the oldest temple in the valley. It is situated to be the oldest temple in the valley. It is situated about 153 m above the level of the Kathmandu Valley and afford a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. An all weather motorable road connects it with the Bhaktapur city.
DATTATRAYA TEMPLE: This temple is said to have been built from the trunk of a single tree. It was built in 1427 A.D. during the reign of King Yakchhya Malla and repaired in 1458 A.D. by King Bishwa Malla
DURBAR SQUARE: The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like the Lion Gate, the Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the Picture Gallery, the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 Windows, the Batsala Temple and the bell of Barking Dogs, the replica of Pashupatinath Temple, etc.
The Lion Gate which was built during the reigh of King Bhupatindra Malla is adorned with the lovely stone figures of Hanuman, Bhairav and Narasingh Narayan. The statue of the Malla King in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. Of the many statues available in the Nepal this is considered to be the most magnificient.
The Picture-Gallery contains ancient paintings belonging to Hindu and Buddhist schools of Tantrism of various periods and descriptions.
The Golden Gate is the entrance to the main courtyard of the Palace of 55 Windows. It was built by King Ranjit Malla and is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kinds in the entire world. The door is surmounted by figures of Goddess Kali Garuda, the winged carrier of Lord Vishnu and is attended by two sky nymphs. The gate is embellished with monsters of marvellous intricacy.
The palace of 55 Windows was built in the seventeenth century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Among the brick walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is a masterpiece of wood carving.
The stone temple of Batsala Devi which is also located in the Durbar Square is full of intricate carvings. This temple also sets a beautiful example of Shikhara style of architecture in Nepal. There is a bronze bell on the terrace of the temple which is also known as the "bell of barking dogs". When it peals, the local dogs start barking. This colossal bell, placed in 1737 A.D. by King Ranjit Malla, was used to sound curfew during his reign. The bell is wrong every morning while worshipping Goddess Taleju.
NAGARKOT: Nagarkot is a popular tourist resort of Nepal. It is situated 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2,175 m above the sea level. The panaroma of the major peaks of eastern Nepal Himalayas including Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) can be seen from here. Himalayan peaks like Manasalu (8,463 m), Ganesh Himal (7,111 m), Langtang (7,246 m), Choba Bhamre (6,016 m), Gaurishanker (7, 134 m) and Numbur (6,957) are also clearly seen from Nagarkot. A motorable road links Nagarkot with Bhaktapur.
NYATAPOLA TEMPLE: This five-storey pagoda was built in 1702 A.D. by King Bhupatindra Malla. It stands on a five-terraced platform. On each of the terraces squat a pair of figures; two famous wrestlers, two elephants, two lions, two griffins and Baghini and Singhini the tiger and the lion goddesses. Each pair of figures is considered ten times stronger than the ones immediately below, while the lowest pair of the two strong men, Jaya Malla and Phatta Malla, were reputedly ten times stronger than any other men. This is one of the tallest pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship. The temple was built for Goddess Laxmi
PUJARI MATH: Near the Dattatraya Temple is a monastery temple with exquisitely carved peacock windows. This Monastery was built by King Yakchhya Malla and later renovated by the then priest Ram Dutt Giri.
SURYA VINAYAK: It is a shrine of Ganesh, the elephant headed God, situated in a beautiful surrounding of Bhadgaon, placed in a sylvan setting to catch the first rays of the rising sun. The view of the city of Bhaktapur is seen from here with snow peaks in the background. Nestling in a thick forest, it is a good picnic spot flanked by many attractive landscapes. It is easily accessible by trolley bus.
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