Written by Sabin Adhikari
Patan also known as Lalitpur means the city of arts. It is located across the river Bagmati river only 5km south of Kathmandu city center. This city found in 3rd century AD by King Veera Dev has a distinction of being the home of the finest crafts and is considered oldest of the all three cities of Kathmandu valley. Most of the monuments in this square date back to the medieval Malla period from 16th to 18th century and the monuments in the area are mostly created to King Siddhi Nar Singh Malla, Shri Niwas Malla and Yog Narendr Malla.
Main Chowka (Courtyards):Patan Durbar Square consists of three main courtyards- Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Mani Keshab Chowk which houses the Patan Musium. The Sundari Chowk built by King Siddhi Narsingha Malla in 1674 AD contains the master piece of stone sculpture known as the Royal bath and was used for performing ritual bathing.
Bhimsen Temple: The three-storied temple of Bhimsen located at the extreme north of the square with the magnificent golden balcony overlooking the square outside is very popular almost the local merchant and traders communities. There are curio shops around the temple.
Vishwa nath Temple: The two-stored temple dedicated to Shiva located near the Bhimsen temple is built in Pagoda style and houses a large phallic of Shiva and the temple is guarded by two elephants.
Krishna Mandir: The temple of Lord Krishna built in the 17th century by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla is the first specimen of Shikhara style temple entirely made of stone. It is the only temple in Nepal with 21 golden pinnacles and contains engraved scenes from the epics of Ramayana and Mahavarata.
Stone Column: The stone column of King Yog Narendra Malla in a praying poster to goddess Teleju is protected by the snake. Legend says that the King would be remembered and remain immortal as long as the bird does not fly from there. It is because of this believe that a window of the nearby palace is kept open for the spirit of the King to come and rest in the palace. A stone pillar located nearby with the Garuda atop facing the Krishna temple is another typical example of Nepali stone workmanship.
Jagatnarayan Temple: This temple also known as the Char Narayan temple and one of the oldest temple is located south of the KrishnaTemple. The temple is guarded by two lions and half human form sculpted in stone.
Harishankar Temple: This three-tier temple built in 1707 AD is dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. This temple was built by the wives of King Yoga Narendra Malla after his memory because of which this temple is known as Sati temple.
Taleju Temple: There are prominent temples like the three-storied octagonal temple of Taleju Bhawani and Digu Teleju- the five storied temple of the protective deities built by King Siddhi Narsinga Malla in 17th century. These temples are unique examples of craftsmanship in wood.
Golden Temple: The three-storied golden pagoda was built by King Bhaskar verma in the 12th century and contains image of Amoghpash Lokeswor, large player wheel and paintings of Buddha. The temple is located at the walking distance north from the main square.
Kumbheshwor: The five-storied temple dedicated to Shiva was built during the reign of King Jayastithi Malla in the late 14th century. IT is a few minutes walk north from the main square. A religious fair is held during Janai Poornima (August). There is also a famous Banglamukti temple nearby.
Mahaboudha: Thousand images of Buddha are found in the temple made of fine quality bricks. The temple was considered in the 15th century by an architect named Avay Raj and is located eastwards with a few minutes walking distance from the main square.
There are many other shrines, sculptures, stupas scattered in and around the square and provide a unique experience to visitors and art lovers.