This was my favorite of the three Durbar Squares I visited. To me, the buildings seemed to have more character and detail and it was more fun to wander. It is actually three squares. Bhaktapur was the most powerful of the Malla kingdoms from the 14th to 16th centuries.
Maybe I liked it best because of a sweet, creamy dessert the town is known for called The King of Curds. It is supposedly one of the world's oldest desserts.
We booked transport to Bhaktapur through our guest house. Car there and back with three hours sightseeing time cost us NPR 2000. There were plenty of taxis around when we came back out so we could just have taken a taxi there and a taxi back.
Entrance to Bhaktapur cost a hefty US$15 making it very expensive compared with other sights.
Although Bhaktapur was very interesting and pretty I could not even get peace to see it at first as I was immediately bombarded by masses of people trying to sell me things. For us this was the most hassley place we went to during our holiday. It seemed to calm down and we got a bit of peace later on in our visit.
Your entrance fee gets you access to 4 main squares. The first is Durbar Square which you enter by passing through a 19th century gate. The entrance to the national art gallery (additional entrance fee) will be on your left.
Many of the temples of Bhaktapur's Durbar Square were destroyed in the great earthquake of 1934.
You can enter the palace courtyards through the Sun Dhoka or Golden Gate which was created in 1753 by Jaya Ranjit Malla. There are some lovely statues inside. There is also a temple but this is only open to Hindu visitors. If you go through a low doorway near the temple you will come to a large water tank with some beautifully carved snakes.
Pass back through the golden gate and view the palace from the outside and you will see the 18th century palace of 55 windows. There are several more temples on Durbar Square including the octagonal Chayasilin Mandap and the Laxmi Mandir a stone temple with lots of pairs of animal guardians on its staircase.
A road leads from Durbar Square to Taumadhi Tol which contains Nepal's tallest temple the Nyatapola Mandir. This temple has 5 roofs and is more than 30m high. The stairs leading up to the temple are flanked by pairs of creatures. The pairs on each increasing level are 10x stronger than the pair below. So the Malla wrestlers at the bottom are 10x stronger than ordinary people and the elephants above them are 10x stronger than the wrestlers. The other temple on this square is Bhairavnath Mandir dedicated to Bhaktapur's patron god Bhairav.
Nearby is Potters' Square where you can watch potters make their products and many products such as pots, little animals are spread out waiting to be purchased.
The final square is Dattaraya Square with its Dattaraya Temple which dates from 1427. The Pujari Math behind Dattaraya Temple now houses the wood carving museum. It has beautifully carved wooden windows including peacock and lotus blossom windows. At the other end of this square lies a sunken water tank.
Bhaktapur was interesting and beautiful.
Bhaktapur is an ancient city outside Kathmandu that is famous for how well it is preserved. It is a great example of ancient architecture that uses terra cotta brick and wood. Even the streets are paved with brick and they are spotless. Bhaktapur offers great sightseeing and shopping and if you go in the morning it is not even crowded. It costs 15 USD or 1100 NPR to get in and is worth it. I got there via motorbike with my tour organizer, but that trip on a motorbike is not for the faint of heart! I don't think a taxi would be too expensive. It is well worth a visit. If you have a half day, you can really see a lot.
Bhaktapur is an UNESCO World Heritage sight in the Kathmandu Valley. It dates back to the 7th century.
About 13km east from Kathmandu, it makes an easy day trip.
Beautiful Newari architecture, Potter's Square, shopping, excellent photography opportunities are some of the attractions here.
It is easy to reach from Kathmandu. I actually went there twice now, and the second visit we went with a motorbike.
You do get an info booklet when buying your ticket, which helps with direction and the major sights.
Don't miss a visit to this magical place!
The entrance (March 2011) is NPR 1100
The traditionally intact town of Bhakpatur is probably the most charming city in the whole Kathmandu Valley.
Enlisted UNESCO World Heritage, with its cobblestone traffic free streets linking a string of well-restored temples, courtyards and monumental squares, and with the sidestreets scattered with shrines, wells and water tanks, Bhaktapur is like a trip back in time. Strolling around, wandering at the temples with their architectural details and watching centuries-old traditions of craftsmanship - potters, woodcarvers, bronze casting, jewellery, weavers and other enterprises - are the best things to do in Bhaktapur.
Apart from the monuments and the unspoiled local flavours of the place, Bhaktapur is a good place to use as a base for nearby trips to Changu Narayan (one of the oldest temples in Nepal) as well as to Nagarkot, to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas.
Bhaktapur boasts traffic free old centre, Kumari goddeses (additional to Kathmandu) loads of monuments and statues, some of the most elegant temples and…the finest carved window in the whole Kathmandu valley, the peacock window.
Visit my Bhaktapur pages for more info, pics and tips.
Bakhtapur is a beautifully preserved medeival city with some great temples, small winding streets filled with (mostly overpriced) vendors selling (mostly fake but some real) Nepali odds and ends. You pay a small nominal fee to get in. I went on a guided tour from my hotel, which is probably the best thing to do. You can hire guides there but they won't be as knowledgeable, and will probably be more expensive. I strongly recommend going there with a guide as the layout is quite confusing and there is lots to see which you might miss without one. In some parts its hard to look past the blaring signs of commercialism, but it is definitely worth seeing. This was the highlight of my trip.
The city of Bhaktappur is also in Kathmandu Valley, not far from Kathmandu. There is a lot less trafic in the streets and the city is less touristic and smaller than Katmandu.
For more pictures and info, see the Travelogue
Just outside Kathmandu, this ancient city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and gives a glimpse of what a Nepali city would have been like a few hundred years ago.
Lots of temples, but much quieter than Kathmandu, and the opportunity to see local artists and potters at work.
The only (controversial) downside to this place is the $10US entrance fee for non-SAARC tourists, but it's worth paying.
This ancient "city of devotees" was founded in 889AD and is a showcase of craftsmanship and fine Newar architectures.
Around the Durbur square, at the heart of four miles square city, is surrounded by innumerable temples and other architectures. One is Nyatapola Temple, a five stories temple, the tallest of Kathmandu.
Yet another is palace of 55 windows now converted into a museum.
Touristes visiting Nepal feel their visits incomplete unless they get a mesmerizing glimpse of this ancient "City of Culture".
This place lays 12 km east of Kathmandu.
The ticket price - 750 Rs./10 USD/.
Not far away from Kathmandu is another interesting town: Bhaktapur.
In Bhaktapur there is also a Durbar Square and it's even larger than the square in Kathmandu and happily there is no traffic. On the square in Bhaktapur are also a lot of nice temples.
It is also a pleasure to walk in the streets of Bhaktapur. What I liked when I was walking in these streets were some houses with beautiful carved doors.
Also interesting in Bhaktapur are the shops with the thangkas (Tibetan religious paintings). Some of them were very beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't buy one because I had too less time to have an accurate look at them and to negotiate about the price. Maybe this is also a good reason to go back to Nepal again one day.
Bhaktapur is about 35 km south east of Kathmandu and is easily reached by bus, minibus or taxi.
Foreigners have to buy a ticket to visit the town.
Baktapur Durban square is one of the seven world heritage sites all over the Kathmandu valley.