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Major Sightseeing Places in Patan

This ancient city of Patan is situated on the southern bank of the river Bagmati and is about five kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments with bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is known as the city of artists. The major tourist attractions of Patan are:

ACCHESHWOR MAHAVIHAR: It was established towards the beginning of the seventeenth century by one Accheswor by building a house an idol of Lord Buddha. This Mahavihar has recently been reconstructed. It has 30 rooms including a monastery, "Dhyankuti" research area, training area, library, review rooms and guest rooms. Situated behind the Ashokan Stupa at Pulchowk, the Mahavihar commands a beautiful view of the Kathmandu Valley. DURBAR SQUARE: Patan Durbar Square, situated in the heart of the city constitutes the focus of visitor's attraction. The square is full of ancient palaces, temples and shrines, noted for their exquisite carvings. One can rummage for treasures in the various shops around the squares.

The main attraction of Patan Durbar Square is the ancient Royal Palace itself. It consists of three main chowks or courtyards, the central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Main Keshab Narayan Chowk. In the northern eastern corner of the courtyard is the triple roofed octagonal tower of Taleju Bhawani Temple built by King Shree Niwas Malla in 1667. The Sundari Chowk holds in its centre a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal bath called Tushahity. Between the central Mul Chowk and Main Keshab Narayan Chowk there is a temple of Degu Taleju.

HIRANYA VARNA MAHAVIHAR: This three storey olden pagoda of Lokeshwor (Lord Buddha) was built in the twelfth century by King Bhaskar Verma. It is located in the courtyard of Kwabahal. Inside the upper story of the pagoda, placed on the pedestal, are the golden image of Lord Buddha ana a large prayer wheel. There are a wealth of gem like carvings on its walls and a complete life of Buddha in gold relief.

JAGATNARAYAN TEMPLE: It is a tall, imposing temple of Lord Vishnu in red brick. Situated on the bank of Bagmati river (Sankhamul), the temple has many fine images of stone and an artistic metal statue of Garuda on a stone pillar.

KRISHNA MANDIR: Built in the seventeenth century by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla, the temple of Lord Krishna holds a commanding position in the palace complex of Patan/ It is supposed to be the first specimen of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. It is the only temple in Nepal having 21 shrines and is completely made of stone. Most of the important scenes from the ancient Hindu epic-the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, have been engraved on its friezes.

KUMBHESHWOR: Kumbheshwor temple in Patan and Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur are the only temples in the valley with five roofs, with the exception of round five tiered Pancha Mukhi Hanuman of Kathmandu's Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The temple of Lord Shiva was built during the reign of King Jayathiti Malla. Later a golden finial was added to it. A fair is held here on the Janai Poornima day in August.

MAHABOUDDHA: A little further from Patan Durbar Square lies this Buddhist made of clay bricks in which thousands of images of Lord Buddha are engraved. The Terracotta structure is one of the fourteenth century Nepalese architecture masterpieces. It was constructed by an architect named Avay Raj.

PATAN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE: Patan Industrial Estate is situated at Lagankhel in Lalitpur District near Sat Dobato. This Industrial Estate is well known for Nepali handicrafts such as wood carving, metal crafts, carpets, thangka paintings and the likes. It is very interesting to see how these goods are made in the different workshop. For the convenience of the tourists, there is a Shopping Arcade within the premises of the Industrial Estate. Almost all handicraft products of the Estate are exihibited in the Shopping Arcade.

RUDRA VARNA MAHAVIHAR: This unique Buddhist monastery contains fine and amazing collection of images and statues in metal, stone and wood. Kings in the ancient times were crowned in this monastery. Many of the treasures offered by the devotees can be seen here even today.

TEMPLES OF MACHCHHENDRA NATH AND MIN NATH: The pagoda of Red Machchhendra Nath, also known as Avalokiteshwor and Adinath Lokeshwor is housed here for six months. For the rest six months the idol is taken to its shrine in Bungamati. The temple of Min Nath is situated in Tengal, on way to Tabahal. The temple of Min Nath is supposed to be older than the temple of Red Machchhendra Nath.

THE ASHOKAN STUPAS: There are four ancient stupas, popularly believed to have been built in 250 B.C. by Emporor Ashoka at the four corners of Patan. The four stupas are situated in Pulchowk, Lagankhel, Ebahi (way to Sankhamul), and in Teta (way to Sano Gaon) respectively. These stupa given evidence to the city's ancient religious importance.

THE Z00: The Zoo is situated at Jawalakhel. Here are many animals, birds and reptiles, mostly representing the Himalayan fauna. It is the only zoo in Nepal. There is a beautiful pond inside it built by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla. It is open daily from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

TIBETAN CENTER, JAWALAKHEL: It is an extremely interesting place where one can see the spinning, dying and weaving of Tibetan carpets. The center has also a well stocked show-room.

This information is courtesy of:
Department of Tourism
His Majesty's Government of Nepal

Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur
Tel: 523692
Fax: 977-1-527852

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