Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur, often referred to locally as Khowpa (the ancient city of Newa), is the smallest city in Nepal. It is about 13 kilometers to the east of the country’s capital. It is also referred to as the “city of temples,” but is more commonly called the “city of worshippers.” The Bhaktapur handicrafts and pottery industry is nationally famous. UNESCO has listed Bhaktapur as a World Heritage Site since 1979 due to its well-preserved medieval architecture and reputation as Nepal’s best place for historically preserved buildings. It is the smallest district among Nepal’s 77 districts. Which can also be known for holding various celebrations and carnivals such as biskaa, Jatra, and Saparu. Bhaktapur is also known for the famous locally made curd “Juju Dhau,” also known as “King of Curds,” made from buffalo milk.

“A Living Museum” of Newari Art and Architecture Known Everywhere The town is also known for its Newar traditions, cuisine, and artisans. Nothing beats local cuisine on a visit.

Places to visit on Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur durbar square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square offers a devout visit together with a historical sightseeing tour, as you’ll be able to see a rise in the preserved number of temples and the surviving palaces and landmarks there. The Royal Residence is found at Durbar Square. Bhaktapur is considered the leading place in Nepal for its protected historic buildings, but the most appealing thing about this Durbar Square is its engineering. Major destinations in Durbar Square are the Royal Residence, the Golden Entryway, and the 55 Window Palace.

It is also most famous for its silver bell, known to nearby residents as “the bell of barking dogs,” as when it was rung, dogs in the vicinity woofed and howled.  Walking around the square can transport us back in time without a doubt. You’ll get a glimpse into the old regal days of Nepal. This spot has a lot to offer its visitors.

55 Windows Palace (pachpanna jhyale durbar)

55 Window Palace is one of the highlights of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, also known as Pachpanna Jhyale Durbar best known for its fascinating array of sacred murals, wood carvings, artwork, and stunning architecture. A royal palace with 55 windows on the left side of Durbar Square in Bhaktapur is believed to have been built by Yaksa Malla in 1427 and rebuilt by King Bhupatindra Malla of the Malla dynasty in the 17th century. There are 55 beautiful wooden windows with fine carvings from the Malla period in this building. If you just want to admire the magnificent wood carvings of the palace with its 55 windows carved into the windows you can visit anytime. Next to it, the main entrance of the Royal Palace, also known as the Golden Gate (Sun dhoka), is about 8 meters high, and the main part of the red wall is illuminated with platinum bronze.

There’s also a beautiful Taleju temple and a sacred pond called Naag Pokhari near the palace. The Taleju Temple is the royal temple of King Malla. The most notorious attraction and destination for travelers entering Bhaktapur is Durbar Square. The scenery here is a tourist attraction that makes you feel like you’ve traveled through a time warp to the past.

Thimi

Thimi or Madhyapur Thimi, is an ancient Newar city and the center of Newar cultural traditions, arts, and architecture. It is situated in the center of the three valleys between Patan, Kathmandu, and Bhaktapur. Due to its location, it served as a barrier separating Bhaktapur from Patan, Kathmandu during the late Malla period, when there were often battles between the three kingdoms of the valley. It also acted as a trade route from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu. Many legends surround the title “Thimi” and its meaning. Legend says that since the people of Thimi successfully guarded Bhaktapur, the rulers of Bhaktapur called them “CHHEMI,” which means “capable people,” hence praising them for their faithful and constant support. Where “Madhya” represents the center and “Pur” represents the city.

Thimi is the most well-known place and also a hometown for different deities. Balkumari Temple (the second main Balkumari temple), Lokeshowr Temple, Siddhi Kali Temple, Pottery Squares, Thimi Durbar (Thimi Layaku), etc. All the streets of Thimi are filled with small shrines, temples, and landmarks that attract tourists from all over the world.

Madhyapur Thimi is especially popular for its ceramics and clay works. Prajapatis of Thimi are generally involved in pottery from ancient times. An important traditional dance of Madhyapur Thimi is Layaku Bhaila Naach, which is also performed by the Thimi people in August in Thimi after four days of Gaijatra.

Dattatraya Square

The oldest of Bhaktapur’s four squares offers many surprises for its visitors. Square is named after the Dattatraya Temple, often called Thachapal Tole. The place is also filled with temples and ponds, Salan Ganesh Temple and Ganesh Pond, Bhimsen Temple and Pokhari (Bhimsen is said to be the god of trade), and Laxmi Narayan Temple.

Dattatraya Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bhaktapur, dating back to the 14th century. And that is the square’s central attraction. It is said to be one of the only temples in Nepal devoted to Dattatraya, an incarnation of his three Hindu gods (Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma).

Within the area of Dattatraya, the peacock window, is the foremost appealing woodcraft from the 15th century, the Brass and Bronze Museum, the Wood Carving Museum, Dattatraya Temple, and Pujari math. During different festivals and occasions, the temple is embraced by the devotees.

National Art Museum

The National Art Museum is the best among the three historical centers of Bhaktapur, which contains Hindu and Buddhist traditions of different time periods. It has a great collection and has secured the sculptures, manuscripts, and chronicles that trace its history from the 11th century and which appear to leave us pondering and thinking about the developments of that period.

A wide collection of erotic paintings of gods, particularly those of the Bhairava and his Shakti in a yoga posture, can be found there. Glancing at such portraits, everyone can recognize that they are locked in a sexual posture, but the philosophy behind these postures is very distinct from what the typical human eye can perceive. Here, anyone can purchase books related to works of art, woodcarvings, and many more.

Taumadhi (Ta: Maari)

The name Taumadhi was adapted from Ta: Maari, meaning “big bread.” It is just a minute’s walk from Durbar Square, which in itself is a center of attraction. Taumadhi Square has both cultural and historical significance, consisting of Nepal’s tallest temple, the Nyatapola Temple, which is locally known as Panch Talee Mandir. It is one of the busiest squares in Bhaktapur. There is another Tin Talee Temple of Bhairava (Bhairavnath Temple), Til Madhav Temple, and other temples nearby. We can get a close look at the ancient architecture of Nyatapola.

Changu Narayan Temple (Changu/ Dolagiri)

Changu Narayan Temple is one of the oldest temples in Nepal, made in 464 C.E., and can also be known as Changu or Dolagiri in Bhaktapur. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan and is perched on top of a hill surrounded by a champak tree forest. On the way to the temple, we can also visit the first private museum in Nepal, established in 2000 AD which preserves the collection of ancient Newari tools from the medieval period. The main attraction of the temple is its unique architecture and monuments.

Changu/Dolagiri is a very small town but is well known for family picnic spots, having a short break with your loved ones where one can seek the peace of nature to have a break from daily haste life, hiking to Nagarkot through forest and villages, and observing the local people following traditional practices and living a much less complex life than those in the cities area.

Doleshwor Mahadev: Head of Kedarnath

Doleshwor Mahadev is one of the sacred places also known as Bimaleshwor Mahadev and Sipare Mahadev is considered to be the head part of the deity Kedarnath of Uttarakhand of India. It is situated in the midst of the green slope in the southeastern part of Bhaktapur. It is a well-known Hindu or all Shiva devotees’ journey attraction in the Bhaktapur area. It is believed that a trip to Kedarnath is incomplete without visiting Doleshwar Mahadev and Pashupatinath. Visiting all these three sacrosanct places is believed to wash off all the sins of one’s lifetime and an opportunity to accept heavenly endowments from Lord Shiva. You can feel the natural beauty and quietness of the environment as it is absent from the crowded zone of the city.

Kailashnath Mahadev Statue

Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, which is well known as the tallest Siva statue in Asia at 44 meters (145 feet), is made using copper, zinc, concrete, and steel. It is located at Sanga, which also acts as a border between Bhaktapur and Kavre districts. A peaceful environment where we can walk around a well-maintained small garden surrounding the spot. After visiting the statue, you can enjoy the locally manufactured Titaura and make a stop at souvenir shops.

A newly constructed 738-foot pedestrian suspension bridge is also a well-known landmark to observe the Aerial view of Bhaktapur and Kathmandu valley, which is built directly above the busy Araniko Highway on which this bridge too serves as a way for visitors and votaries to reach Sanga Mahadev Temple.

Pilot Baba Ashram

A famous ashram known as Pilot Baba is a spiritual and sacred place where you can feel spiritual and mental peace and has different key qualities than Bhaktapur’s historical, cultural, and traditional aspects, but the religious importance of the place and its structures are really good. The Ashram is located on Anantalingeshwar Hill, which makes it a good hiking destination. The open field behind the temples is an ideal place to go for a quick hideout with your family and friends for picnics and a scenic view of the hills surrounding the valley. Easily accessible by road, you have two choices: either go by hike or private vehicle as per your interest. The way up is filled with greenery and trees.

Ananta Lingeshwor Mahadev

One of the ancient religious temples of the Lord Ananta Lingeshwar Mahadev Temple is found in a hill station with a thick Rhododendron forest, southwest of Bhaktapur across the forest of Suryabinayak. You have to climb the stairs to reach the temple’s premises, which include a Kunda, Shivalayas, Bhajan Mandali, stone statues of various deities, and a pond with a snake image in the middle. This experience passes through your heart and gives you a purely religious feeling.

Popular for its spectacular views of Rhododendron forests, it’s also ideal for hiking trails through the woods treating it as a hike uphill can be a more exciting and wonderful experience. It is a religious place, though it is also a perfect place to enjoy nature.

Siddha Pokhari (Indra Daha/ Ta Pukhu)

Siddha Pokhari is also known as Indra Daha and Ta Pukhu in Newari, Ta Pukhu means big pond. The manmade pond is 171 m long, 73 m wide, and about 3 m deep. It was constructed in the early fifteenth century during the medieval era and is regarded as one of the oldest ponds with a variety of stories and traditional values. Ideal location for pond observation, surroundings, evening or early walks, as well as the potential to see snow-capped mountain peaks on a clear day. It is situated right nearby Durbar Square’s main gate. And it’s a fantastic spot to avoid chaos, even though a cool breeze blows constantly.

The Lion Gate

The Lion Gate is located in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, along with several other ancient buildings and relics. There are two tall and majestic lion statues placed on either side of the gate, next to the lion statues (one on each side), there are also stone sculptures of Lord Bhairava and his consort, Goddess Ugrachandi. A popular belief holds that the king chopped off the hand of the artisans of the Lion Gate so that it would never be rebuilt. It has immense cultural significance. It’s worth witnessing the vintage craftsmanship.

Nagarkot

Situated on the highest point of Bhaktapur at an altitude of 2195 m, it is well-known for its beautiful view of sunrise between the Himalayas, including Mount Everest and other peaks of the Himalayas in eastern Nepal. Nagarkot also offers panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley. The scenic beauty of the area makes it a hub for local and international tourists, making it a very popular hiking route for tourists. Mahadev Pokhari may be a peaceful lake located close to Nagarkot. According to mythology, this lake was created by Lord Shiv.

The spring season, when the forest is adorned with freshly blooming Rhododendrons, is the best time to visit Nagarkot. In comparison to the White Mountains in the background, ruddy blossoms make it a vacation destination while surrounded by quite dense forests, and the cool breeze gives us a refreshing feeling. Nagarkot has long been used as a retreat for members of the royal family.

Bode

Bode is an ancient Newar town known as a mini-version of Madhyapur Thimi. The famous festivals of Biskat Jatra, Neel Barahi Naach, and tongue piercing are also held here. The locals still have Newari culture and traditions. Most people are engaged in agriculture. Neel Barahi, Mahalaxmi, Narayan, Ganesh Temple, Bode Dyamaa Stupa, and Dharma Chakra Gumba are the most visited religious areas on the site. The picnic area also serves as a vacation spot for families and tourists.

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