Bhaktapur popularly known as “city of devotees” is one of the 3 Royal cities in the Kathmandu valley which is also known as Bhadgaun and Khopwa in the native language. Being one of the smallest districts inside the valley, Bhaktapur is popular in art and architecture. A city with unique art, architecture and sculptures preserved from the medieval age and has a major residence of Newar community is another popular city for tourism inside the valley.
Hiking in Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur to changunarayan can be considered one of the popular hiking destinations inside Kathmandu valley which is 5km north of Bhaktapur. It is a short 1-day hike which will lead you to the religious and pilgrimages sites, Changunarayan as well as offers you with the art architecture and sculptures of Bhaktapur city. The routes are short and are mostly encouraged for the beginners before having a long trial. The trek starts from Bhaktapur city with the exploration of Newari culture in Bhaktapur and the trial ascend towards uphill with the heartwarming scenario of the hills and mountains around and finally reach the destination changunarayan which is one of the UNESCO listed worlds heritage list. Believed to have been constructed in Lichivi period it is one of the oldest temples whether incarnation of Lord Bishnu, Narayan is worshipped.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the UNESCO listed World Heritage site which is 13 km east from the capital. It was added to the world heritage list in 1979 by UNESCO as many of the historical monuments arts and sculptures are preserved in this city such as the courtyards, places, statues and monuments. The major attractions of this palace are Nyatopola temple, Golden gate, 55 window palace and statue of Bhupatintra malla.
Nyatopola is another famous site for exploration where the basic sculptures of the ancient period can be explored. Nyatopola is a Newarii word which means five stories. The temple is 5 stored with its unique art and architecture and is dedicated to goddess Siddhilaxmi. It is one of the tallest temples around bhaktapur. This temple was build by King Bhupatintra Malla in the 17th century and believed that the king himself carried the bricks to build this building. Only the priest is allowed inside this temple. It is opened once every year. This temple survived the major destruction of 2015 earthquake.
55 window palaces is the royal palace of Bhaktapur Kingdom which was constructed in 1427 AD by Jitamitra Malla and was home of Royal family until 1769. It was later renewed by King Bhupantintra Malla in the 17th century. This palace shows the unique art and architecture of the ancient period as the palce has 55 woodcarvings window which remains masterpiece till today. This palace is considered as one of the oldest monuments and recently it is a national museum where the arts of ancient generation are preserved.
One of the attractions of Durbar square is its golden gate which is most involutedly built gate around the world. Golden gate in Nepali means sunn Dhoka. Golden Gate can be taken as one of the most artistic example of ancient. It was built by Malla King, ranjit malla in 1753 and is the entrance to the 55 window palace. It is the most beautiful piece of art where there is a image of hindu goddess kali at the top with two garud ( myrthical birds) and two nymphs. it depicts the great architecture of the Malla dynasty.
Other popular religious sites which is the replication of pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu where Lord shiva is worshipped. It was built in 1480 AD By King Yaksha Malla and is considered another oldest temple around Bhaktapur. It is also known as Pashupati of Bhaktapur as it is simply the replica of the main shrine of Pashupatinath. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva
Every piece of arts and temples of Bhaktapur has its own History. Likewise, this temple was originally build by king Jagat Jyoti Malla and later was rebuild by king Bhupatintra Malla in 1718 AD .This temple originally was one storeyed and later King Bhupatintra Malla added two stroyed and make it a three stroyed Temple. This temple is dedicated to Bhairav one of the powerful incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Doleshor Mahadev temple
Doleshor temple is one of the Hindu temple of Lord shiva located at Sipadol, in the south eastern part of Bhaktapur. It is 20km from the capital and approximately a 30 min drive from bhaktapur. Looking back at the history of this temple, it is believed that the head of kedarnath is found in this temple and people believe that worship of kedarnath is incomplete without visiting this temple. Thousands of visitors from India and other country visit this religious place every year.