Where is Patan?
Patan is one of the most ancient cities among three popular cities in Kathmandu valley. The other two cities are Bhaktapur and Kathmandu. Patan is located in Lalitpur district of Nepal. It is located to the southern belt of Kathmandu valley which is separated by holy Bagmati River. Bagmati River is the borderline between Kathmandu and Patan city. Do not get confused that Patan is also Lalitpur. Both are same.
What is Patan city famous for?
Patan city is, mainly, famous for ancient and historical palaces, arts and architectures, stone and wood inscriptions, museums and temples. Patan is also a Newari cultural hub in the Kathmandu valley. We can explore the purest form of Newari culture in Patan. The city was destroyed terribly by April Earthquake-2015 and most of the tourists’ sites and ancients heritages are under renovation.
What are the famous places to visit in Patan?
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is the centre of the attraction of Patan. This serene area is stone paved and well maintained to organize various fests all round the year. Durbar is Nepali term which denotes Palace in English. So, various ancient and historical palaces combinely make Patan Durbar Square. These impressive palaces in Patan Durbar Square existed from 16th century when Lalitpur was being ruled by Malla Kings. Siddhinarsingh Malla was the most popular among all Malla Kings who contributed tremendously to flourish arts and architectures during that time. Central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, and Keshav Narayan Chowk are popular chowks to explore while exploring Patan Durbar Square. The Patan Durbar Square was enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
The palaces are magnificently constructed with the impressive wood carvings. In every carving, we find different idols that both Hindu and Buddhists worship.
Mahabouddha is located to the east of Patan Durbar Square. It is an impressive Shikhara styled temple with different images of lord Buddha. This building constructed with earth bricks which represents marvelous engineering from 16th century. This good work of art from 1585 fascinates every visitor at Patan Durbar Square
Krishna Mandir (Temple)
The beautiful and magnificent Krishna Temple stands as a centre of the attractions of Patan. It is located just outside of the palace museum. The popular Malla king Siddinarsingh Malla built this temple to worship lord Krishna when he once saw lord Krishna in his dream. This temple is in Shikhara style. This three storied building represents the marvelous art and architecture from 1637.
Hindu devotees go to visit this temple on the auspicious occasion of Krishna Janma Astami and offer prayer to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is popular for love and compassion in Hindu mythology.
The interior of Patan Durbar Square has been flourished with a museum. The museum is the collection of ancient wood works, stone inscriptions, different postures of meditation, various incarnations of Buddha and other deities. We will tremendously be benefited visiting Patan museum. Each collection in this Museum tells about ancient history, art, architecture, civilization and religion of Nepal.
How To reach Patan city from Kathmandu/ Thamel?
There are major three ways of getting Patan from Thamel of Kathmandu city. The first way of getting Patan from Thamel is by public bus. We can get bus from outskirt of Thamel but we can ride to Patan directly. We have to change two different buses: one from Thamel to Old Buspark and the next will take you to Patan. Changing two buses cost 40 Rupees. You need to be very watchful while travelling via public bus in Kathmandu valley. Keep your belongings safely.
The second way of getting Patan is hiring taxi. Hiring taxi from Thamel to Patan costs between USD 5-8. You can ask the local travel agent to get taxi for you which will be more reliable.
The third way of getting Patan from Thamel is private car/van/jeep. Hiring Private vehicle is more expensive that hiring taxi. If you hire private car for dropping you to Patan, it costs USD 6-10. The same charge is made as we ride from and to Kathmandu Airport from Thamel.
If you want a private car/jeep or any kind of private vehicle for Patan sightseeing which is a half day Patan tour, the cost is between USD 35-40.
Should I hire Tour Guide for Patan Sightseeing?
Hiring guide will, of course, benefit you in several ways than travelling independently in Patan. The well trained and professional guide will tell you about the history, culture and civilization while exploring Patan. The professional and license holder guide costs USD 30 per day. You can ask the local travel companies to provide a professional guide for you.
Where to Eat in Patan?
You can see several modern cafes and restaurants around Patan Durbar Square and can enjoy multiple varieties of foods and cuisines. If you want to taste typical Newari dish which the local dish of Patan, you find Newari restaurants or simply, you can go with western dishes. You just put your head up and you will see different roof top restaurants to eat. You can get in and enjoy the dish of your choice. Mostly, rooftop cafes are popular in Patan to have something when you are hungry.
What to buy in Patan?
Definitely, one does want to purchase souvenirs from the place where you have visited for his/her family/ friends/ relatives as memento. And the most complicated thing is to make the decision to buy the right things. However, we suggest you to purchase Wooden toys, paintings, pottery, pillow covers, carpets and handicraft in Patan city.
What to explore in Patan?
The explorers/ researchers/ visitors really want to explore this ancient city of Nepal. What people want to explore in Patan are typical Newari culture and life style, the ancient Malla dynasty history and their huge contribution to flourish art and architecture. And also people want to explore the significance of Newari feasts and fairs all round the year. Patan Durbar Square is swarmed with the local Newari people to celebrate their cultural and religious feasts and festivals which are beautiful to explore and observe.