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Bhaktapur Travel Guide

Bhaktapur, situated at an altitude of 1401 meters, is a home of medieval art an The urban city covers an area of 4 square miles. Shaped like a conch shell, Bhaktapur means Bhaktapur"the city of devotees". Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies about 14 Kms east of Kathmandu and can also be reached by public transport and by trolley buses. Below are described the major sightseeing places in Bhaktapur.

Durbar Square
The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like: the Lion Gate, a statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, a Picture Gallery, the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 windows, the Batsala temple, the Bell of Barking Dogs, and a replica of Pashupatinath Temple. The Lion Gate which was build during the reign of King Bhupatindra Malla is adorned with stone figures of Hanuman, Bhairav, Narsingh Narayan. A Statue of the Malla King in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. Of the many statues in Nepal, this is considered to be most magnificient. The picture gallery contains ancient paintings belonging to Hindu and Buddhist schools of Tantrism of various periods and descriptions.

The Golden Gate is the entrance of the main courtyard and the Palace of 55 Windows. It was build by King Ranujit Malla and is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind showing the Goddess Kali and Garuda, the winged carrier of Lord Vishnu. This gate is embellished with monsters of the marvelous intricacy. The Palace of 55 Windows was build in the 17th century by King Bhupatindra Malla. Among the bricks walls, with their gracious settings and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is masterpiece of wood carving.

The stone temple of Batsala Devi, which is also located in the Durbar Square, is full of intricate carvings. This temple also shows a beautiful example of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. There is a bronze bell on the tyerrace of the temple which is also known as the "Bell od Barking Dogs". When it peals, the local dogs start barking. This bell, placed in 1737 AD by King Ranjit Malla, was used to sound curfew during his reign. The Bell is rung every morning while worshipping the Goddess Taleju.

Nyatapola Temple

This five storied progda was build in 1702 AD by King Bhupatindra Malla. It stands on a five storied terrace platform. On each of the terraces there is squat pairs of figures; two famous wrestlers, two elephants, two Lions, two Griffins and Bhaghini and Singhini, the Tiger and the Lion Goddesses. Each pair of figures is considered ten times stronger than the ones immediately below, while the lowest pair, the two strong men, Jaya Malla and Fatteh Malla, were reputedly ten times stronger any other men, This is one of the tallest pagodas and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship. The temple was built for Goddess Laxmi.

Bhairavnath Temple

This temple was first build as a one storied pagoda during the reign of King Jagat Jyoti Malla, and later changed into a three storied temple in 1718 AD by King Bhupatindra Malla. The temple is noted for its artistic grandeur. It is dedicated to Lord Bhairavnath, the god of Terror.

Dattatreya Temple

This temple is said to have been build from the trunk of single tree. It was build in 1458 AD during the reign of King Yakchhya Malla and repaired in 1458 AD by King Bishnow Malla.

Pujari Math

Near the Dattatreya temple is a monastery with carved peacock windows. This monastery was built by King Yakchbya Malia and later renovated by the priest Ram Dutt Giri.

Surya Vinayak

This is a shrine of Ganesh, the elephant-headed God, situated in the beautiful surroundings of Bhadgaon, placed in a sylvan setting to catch the first rays of the rising sun. The view of the city of Bhaktapur is seen from here with snow-capped peaks in the background. Nestled in a thick forest, it is a good picnic spot flanked by many active landscapes. It is easily accessible by trolley bus.

Changu Narayan

Located at the end of a long ridge, which runs well into the Valley, this temple is said to have been build in 323 A.D. by King Hari Dutta Vemra .The temple is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings. It is said to be the oldest temple in the Valley. Situated about 153 meters above the level of Kathmandu Valley, it affords a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. An all weather motorable road connects it with Bhakatpur city.


Nagarkot is a popular tourist resort. It is located 32 Kms east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2175 meters above the sea level. A panorama of the major peaks of Eastern Nepal Himalayas, including Sagarmatha(Mr. Everest), can be seen from here. Himalayan peaks like Manaslu(8463), Ganesh Himal(7111), Langtang(7246), Choba Bhamre(6016) and Gaurishanker(7134) are also clearly seen from Nagarkot. A motorable road connects Nagarkot with Bhaktapur.