Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the plaza in front of the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom, 1400m above sea level. It is one of three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
While the complex consists of at least four distinct squares (Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square), the whole area is informally known as the Bhakapur Durbar Square and is a highly visited site in the Kathmandu Valley.
Trivia & Quick Points:
- Also called Bhadgaon and Khwopa (in the native tongue).
- Religions: Hindu 92%, Buddhist 7%
- Castes: Newar 63%, Brahman 10%, Chettri 18%, Tamang 5%
- Bhaktapur’s population is approximately 225,000.
- Bhaktapur depends on tourism for about 60% of its revenues.
- No cars are allowed in Durbar Square; no heavy vehicles in central Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur literally means the city of devotees known as the city famous for woodcarving, handmade papers, pottery and cloth weaving. People in Bhaktapur are really cultural and traditional. Their main profession is farming. Before Bhaktapur was known as “Bhadgaun” that means the rice village.
Around every corner of the square you will see the narrow paved streets harbor hidden shrines and statues. It gives you a fantastic atmosphere to relax the entire day in major cultural heritages and temples.
Culture Tour in Bhaktpur Durbar Square
55 – Windows Palace:
This is the main architectural structure dominating the entire Durbar Square. This magnificent monument was built in 15th century AD. Seated on a huge column top in a position of prayer to God is King Bhupatindra Malla. Among the brick walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of fifty-five windows, considered to be a unique masterpiece of woodcarving.
The Golden Gate:
The Golden gate is the entrance of the 55 windows Royal Palace which is one of the main attractions of Bhaktapur tour. Lu Dhowka (The Golden Gate) is said to be the most beautiful and richly moulded specimen of its kind in the entire world. The door is surmounted by a figure of the Hindu goddess Kali and Garuda (mythical griffin) and attended by two heavenly nymphs.
The Lion’s Gate:
This gate has two beautiful stone statues of Hindu deities installed on its either side. It is said that the hands of the artisans who produced this were cut off immediately after he gave a finishing touch to them. A jealous Bhadgaon King did this so that the artisan could not produce any more of such arts.
Mini Pashupati Temple:
The holy god Shiva temple, the mini pashupati, is believed to be built right in front of the palace after a Bhadgoan king dreamed of it.
Batsala Devi temple is one of the beautiful Shikhara style architectures in Nepal. In the terrace of Batsala Devi temple, there is a bronze bell called as ‘barking bell’ by the local people who believe that the bell ringing made the dogs bark. That is why is called as ‘barking bell’.
Statue of Bhupatindra Malla:
This statue showing King Bhupatindra Malla in the act of worship is set on a column facing the palace. Of the square’s many statues, this is considered to be the most magnificent.
Nyatapola in Newari language means five stories — the symbolic of five basic elements. This is the highest pagoda of Nepal ever built with such architectural perfection and artistic beauty. This temple is dedicated to Sidhilaxmi, the tantric goddess of supreme power and success.
Bhairavnath Temple is situated close to Nyatpola Temple. The Bhairavnath Temple belongs to the god of terror and death – Bhairav.
Dattatraya temple is built in 1427AD. It is said that this temple was built of the trunk of a single tree.
How can the Bhaktapur Journey ends without the Juju dhau (The King Yogurt) of Bhaktapur.
P.S. “The main temple in Bhaktapur’s square lost its roof, while the 16th Century Vatsala Durga temple, famous for its sandstone walls and gold-topped pagodas, was demolished by the quake.”