A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Patan Durbar Square is a must-visit historical place in Kathmandu Valley. Patan Durbar Square is located in the southern part of the Kathmandu valley and was previously the royal palace of the Patan kings. The courtyard is a magical blend of royal buildings, elegant courtyards, and graceful pagoda temples — a showcase of Newari architecture at its zenith during the Malla kings' reign.
It is most renowned for its diverse cultural legacy, especially its arts and crafts culture. It is well-known for its festivals and feasts, exquisite old art, and the creation of metallic, wood-carved, and stone-carved sculptures.
The entry Fee is 1000NPR for foreigners and 250NPR for SAARC nationals.
Major Attractions Of Patan Durbar Square
Chyasin Dewal (Krishna Temple):
At the main entrance to Patan Durbar Square, we see a beautiful octagonal stone temple Chyasin Dewal (the word ‘Chyasin’ means eight-sided about its octagonal structure) dedicated to lord Krishna. The temple was built in 1723 by Yogamati, the daughter of King Yoganarendra Malla.
It is said that the temple was built in memory of the 32 women of king Yoganarendra Malla, who committed satis after the king's death (sati was an ancient inhumane practice in which a widow had to self-immolate during the funeral ceremony of her deceased husband). Later Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher, on 8th July 1920 A.D. ended the custom of sati in Nepal.
The Taleju bell, located near Chyasin Dewal, is a huge cast-iron bell. King Vishnu Malla built the bell in 1736. The people used the bell to notify the King of their complaints. It was also used as an alert to notify the King of oncoming foes.
Hari Shankar Temple
Hari Shankar Temple is a three-storey temple dedicated to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. This is a hybrid-type temple built in 1705 by the daughter of King Yoganarendra Malla, Rudramati
King Yoganarendra Malla’s statue
Near the Hari Shankar temple, you’ll find the brass statue of King Yoganarendra Malla atop a pillar with his queens, looming over the king's head is a cobra, and alighted on the head of the cobra is a small bird. The legend says that as long as the bird is on the statue, King may still return to his palace. That is why a window of the Palace is always kept open.
Char Narayan Temple
The Char Narayan temple was built in 1566 AD by Purandarasimha. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is the oldest temple in Patan Durbar Square.
Krishna Temple :
The Hindu Shikhara-style temple was built in 1637 AD and has 21 gilded spires. The Krishna Temple, which is entirely made of stone, is thought to be Nepal's first example of Shikhara-style architecture. A statue of Garuda atop a pillar stands in front of the Krishna temple.
The Royal Palace and Patan Museum:
Patan Museum was inaugurated in 1997 by King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah. The Patan museum holds one of the finest collections of religious art and craft in Nepal with a display of numerous Buddhism and Hinduism religious significance and Cultural artifacts. It also has some of the most exquisite traditional Newari crafts and bronze statues. The museum entrance fee is included in your Patan Durbar Square ticket, so you won't have to pay more to explore the Patan museum.
The main attraction of the Patan Durbar Square museum is the ancient Royal Palace complex where the Mall kings once resided. The complex has three main Chowks: Keshav Narayan Chowk, Mul Chowk, and Sundari Chowk.
Chowk (meaning “courtyard”)
Keshav Narayan Chowk
Keshav Narayan Chowk, built-in in 1734, served as the Malla Kings' Royal Palace's home chowk. The Keshav Narayan Temple (dedicated to Lord Vishnu) is located in chowk's center. This chowk is well-known for its magnificent Golden Gate and the two lions (one female and one male) that guard the entry.
Rebuilt in 1666 by King Srinivasa Malla, Mul Chowk is the largest of the Royal Palace’s three main chowks. At the center of Mul Chowk, you’ll find a beautiful shrine dedicated to Yantaju, a personal deity of the Malla Kings. It is also inside Mul Chowk that you’ll be able to see the impressive Taleju Bhawani Temple (built in 1671) and the Degutale Temple (built in 1661), both dedicated to Goddess Taleju.
Sundari Chowk, the smallest of the Royal Palace's three main chowks, was built in 1627 and is the most beautiful. Sundari Chowk is famed for its beautiful sunken Royal bath, known as 'Tusha Hiti' which was established in 1647 by King Siddhi Narasimha Malla.
Bhandarkhal garden, located between Mul Chowk and Sundari Chowk, is a beautiful park with a water pond. The Bhandarkhal water tank, which was built in 1647, served as the Royal Palace's primary water source.
Exploring More beyond Patan Durbar Square
Many people limit their visits to Patan Durbar Square and do not explore beyond, definitely, they will miss the golden temple, another oldest Hindu temples, and beautiful stupas. There is plenty to see outside of Patan Durbar square. Aside from Patan Durbar Square, the following temples and stupas are must-sees beyond Patan Durbar Square:
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar(The Golden Temple):
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (‘Hiranya Varna Mahavihar’ means ‘Monastery with a Golden color’) is popular among tourists as The Golden Temple and its name is easy to remember.
The Golden Temple was founded in 1045 by King Bhaskar Deva Varma and was built in its current form in 1409. The Golden Temple is a magnificent three-storey Buddhist monastery.
The design of the complex is astonishing. Inside the courtyards, you’ll find a remarkable shrine with a tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The Shakyamuni Buddha is a deity of the Shakya Cast( a Newari cast in Nepal) and The Golden Temple's main priest is a young boy under the age of 12 from the Shakya caste, who serves for one month before being replaced by another young boy. You’ll see exquisite craftsmanship all around you. You can take the stairs and visit the monastery upstairs.
Entry Fee: 100NPR for foreigners ,50NPR for SAARC
Located 200 meters from the northern part of the Golden Temple, Kumbheshwor Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples devoted to Lord Shiva. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Patan, built in the 14th century by King Jayasthiti Malla.
It is a pagoda-style temple with five stories. The temple is renowned for its magnificent woodcarvings and beautiful proportions. Kumbheshwor Temple Complex (which includes the Kumbheshwor Temple and the Banglamukhi Temple) complex is often ignored by Tourists visiting Patan Durbar Square and Golden Temple.
The ancient Buddhist stupas were built by King Asoka during his journey to the valley in 250 BC. There are four little ancient stupas in Gwarko (East), Pulchowk (West), Kumbeshwor (North), and Lagankhel (South) that resemble Patan's four corners. Buddhism flourished in the valley after King Asoka built these stupas, according to legend. Three of the stupas are modest clay mounds with prayer wheels, but the stupa of Kumbheshwor is a magnificent concrete stupa.