Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur, which means ‘City of Devotees,’ is devoted to living up to its name. The city’s foundations were laid out in the 11th century, during the reign of King Ananda Malla. By the 18th century, it had turned into a mosaic of 172 temples and monasteries. Bhaktapur’s charm is that several of those structures remain today. Notable among those historical gems is the towering Nyatapola Temple in Taumadhi Tole. Walk west from there and you will arrive in the great outdoor museum-like Bhaktapur Durbar Square, where the masterful Palace of 55 Windows and the Golden Gate will have you spellbound.

    1. Durbar Square
      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.
      The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the current town of Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgoan, which lies 13 km east of Kathmandu. 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.
    2. Nyatapola Temple
      Nyatapola Temple is a 5-story pagoda located in Bhaktapur, Nepal. The temple was erected by Nepali King Bhupatindra Malla during a 5-month period from late 1701 into 1702. It is the temple of Siddha Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity.
      This beautifully sculptured building is considered one of the tallest pagodas in the country and is a lovely example of the immense workmanship that went into buildings of this type. This five-storey temple with a five-tier roof that stands just over thirty meters high can be reached by walking up a flight of steps that leads to the top of the platform. As you walk up these terraces you will notice that there are statues on either side of you, on every step. 
    3. 55 Window Palace
      Built by Jitamitra Malla, the former king, the 55-Window Palace was used as the official royal family residence until 1769. The palace was originally finished in 1427. During the seventeenth century, the palace was revamped. Today, the palace has been converted into a National Gallery and it houses several pieces of art.
      The 55-Window Palace gets its name from its balcony designed with a total of 55 windows. This is considered by many as a woodcarving masterpiece because of its uniqueness and elegance. 
    4. Dattatreya Temple
      At the east end of the Bhaktapur Durbar square, the eye-catching Dattatreya Temple was originally built in 1427, supposedly using the timber from a single tree. The slightly mismatched front porch was added later. The temple is dedicated to Dattatreya, a curious hybrid deity, blending elements of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Judging from the Garuda statue and the conch and chakra disc mounted on pillars supported by stone turtles in front of the temple, Vishnu seems to have come out on top.
      The three-storey temple is raised above the ground on a brick and terracotta base, which is carved with erotic scenes, including unexpected humour where one bored-looking woman multitasks by washing her hair while being pleasured by her husband. The main steps to the temple are guarded by statues of the same two Malla wrestlers who watch over the first plinth of the Nyatapola Temple. 
    5. Siddha Pokhari
      Siddha pokhari also known as Ta Pukhu is a big rectangular water pond near the main city gate of Bhaktapur. It was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in the early fifteenth century and is associated with a number of myths. From this spot a wide range of snowy peaks are visible on clear days. 
    6. Bhairavnath Temple
      Bhairavnath Temple was constructed as a single storey pagoda initially by King Jagat Jyoti Malla. Later on it was constructed into a three tier temple. This was done in the year 1718 by King Bhupatindra Malla. The temple was dedicated to Lord Bhairav. Lord Bhairav was considered to be the God of Terror. The inner part of the temple has the head of Bhairav. It is said that the head of Bhairav was chopped off by a tantric with an intention to keep him back in Bhaktapur city. This temple is also made in the style of a pagoda. The famous Nyatapola Temple is situated near this temple.