Bhaktapur Durbar Square: A Glimpse into Nepal’s Past

An ancient Newar town Bhaktapur where Bhaktapur Durbar Square lies, is also is also known as the Bhadgaon or Khwopa in the Newa language. It is located in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. This ancient city was the capital of Nepal during the period of great Malla up to the second half of the 15th century. It is known for its fabulous culture and indigenous lifestyle, Bhaktapur Durbar Square is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO.


Bhaktapur has a rich collection of temple, artwork in wood, stone, and metal. Bhaktapur in Nepal is among the most popular tourist destinations. Tourists annually visit here to have a look at its magnificent artwork and majestic views of the Himalayas.

Lying on the old trade route to Tibet, Bhaktapur is about at a distance of 13 km east of Kathmandu. Located at a height of 1,401 meters above sea level, it covers an area of 10 km. Though Bhaktapur is among the largest cities in Nepal, the district of Bhaktapur is the smallest one. Men in Bhaktapur wear a special type of cap known as Bhaad-gaaule. Another thing that is a trademark of Bhaktapur is the yogurt or curd Ju-Ju Dhau.

In Sanskrit, Bhaktapur means “Town of devotees”. Most tourist feels that travel to Nepal is incomplete without visiting Nepal’s “City of Culture”. Besides architecture Pottery is another attraction which tourists love to see. In Bhaktapur, you’ll see many Hindu and Religious art and sites. Though the population here is mainly Hindu there are as many as nineteen Buddhist monasteries in the city. Fairs and festivals are part of life in Bhaktapur. It is the city of culture where Nyatapole temple and 55 windows palace are the main attraction.

Bhaktapur durbar square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is smaller than those of Kathmandu and Lalitpur. There is a group of temples Char Dham Jagannath, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Krishna temple.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square museum

Malati chowk or National art gallery

Malati Chowk was built in 1707 by Bhupatindra Malla. Malati Chowk was converted into the National Art Gallery which has manuscripts, the rarest paintings, and sculptures.

Important features of Bhaktapur durbar square

Each monument of Bhaktapur durbar square is equally important but the major attractions of Bhaktapur Durbar Square are as follows:

  • 55 window palace
  • Nyatapola Temple
  • Bhairava Nath Temple
  • Golden Gate

55 Windowed Palace

The most attractive palace, archaeologically and artistically is the 55 Windowed Palace located in Bhaktapur. The palace has 55 windows, and because of this, it is named 55 windowed palace. King Bhupendra Malla built this 3-story palace, carved with stunning arts, and sculptures in the 17th century.

Nyatapola Temple

Nyatapola temple is a five-storied temple of goddess Siddhilaxmi. The temple was built in Pagoda style by King Bhupatindra Malla during the 17th century. It is said that the construction of this temple was completed within a few months. This architecturally rich temple is considered to be the tallest temple and one of the tallest pagodas to be existing for many years in Nepal. People are allowed to go to the top of the temple through a series of stairs but people are strictly prohibited from viewing the idol of Goddess Siddhi Laxmi.

Taleju Bhawani Temple

There are three Taleju Bhawani Temples in Nepal, one being in Bhaktapur and the other two in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. It’s the temple of the sacred deity Taleju Bhawani, a goddess with four heads and ten arms. It is one of the ancient temples of Nepal built during the Malla dynasty. Only the kings used to worship Taleju Bhawani but now the temple is open for all the Hindus.

The golden gate is the entrance to the Taleju Bhawani Temple. The gate is artistically attractive and is made of gold. The temple is three-storied and is built in Pagoda style. Ancient artistic sculptures can be seen on the wooden windows and archways. There are many myths and stories related to the Taleju Bhawani and Malla kings in history.

Who made Bhaktapur durbar square ?

Bhaktapur Durbar Square was built by Malla King. Before the unification of Nepal Bhaktapur was a separate kingdom that was ruled by Malla rulers.

How to reach Bhaktapur durbar square from Kathmandu ?

You can reach Bhaktapur Durbar Square from Kathmandu by bus, taxi, car, etc. Distance from Kathmandu is approximately 15 kilometers. Local buses are also available to Bhaktapur from Ratnapark Bus Park also known as Purano Bus Park. Traveling by bus is cheaper than by taxi. For traveling in Kathmandu by taxi you can also download taxi apps like “Pathao” etc from Google Play Store, where you’ll find distance and cost.

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