Patan Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar squares of Nepal listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located in the heart of Lalitpur, Nepal, and was listed in 1979 AD by UNESCO in the world heritage list.
The Durbar Square was the residence of the Malla Kings back in ancient times. Moreover, the Patan durbar square was made during the Malla king’s regime. You can get to see the ancient royal palace, wall cravings, statues, arts, and temples. The whole area of the durbar is paved with red bricks.
History of Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square PDS construction started from the 14th to 18th centuries. During the regime of King Siddhinarsingh Malla (1619–60), there were some major changes held in the palace. Though the history of Patan Durbar Square is not clear. But Patan was one of the prosperous cities.
The architecture of Patan is the Newar architecture. Temples and shrines are also based on the Newari structure. Patan consists of 55 temples altogether along with 136 monasteries (Buddhist). Patan follows both religions Hinduism and Buddhism.
Layout or Chowk of Durbar Square
Patan Durbar has the 3 main chowks or courtyards:
Keshav Narayan Chowk
Keshav Narayan Chowk is the entrance or walkway of the Patan Museum. The name of the chowk is based on the Keshav Narayan Temple. The chowk lies in between the temple.
Mul Chowk is known as the main entrance of the Patan. As it is the central courtyard it is the biggest among the rest two chowks.
The Chowk has different temples and statues as Vidya Temple (center) and Taleju Temple. In addition, you can view the statues of the goddesses Ganga on a tortoise, along with Jamuna, on a carved makura (mythical crocodile).
Sundari Chowk is one of the chowks of Patan located to the south. The chowk has a sunken tank named Tusha Hiti. As per the present status, the Chowk is now a public walkway. Every corner of the entrance of the chowk has stone statues of either Hanuman, Ganesh, or Nara Singha.
As the chowk is now public, one can enjoy different delicacies and ambiance. The nightlife of Sundari Chowk is a center of attraction as there is a gigantic self-illuminating moon.
Restoration and Refurbishing
The restoration or refurbishment of durbar square was done only after the earthquake in 2015. There was major destruction in Char Narayan Temple. Besides that, the patties were also damaged.
During the period, Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) with the help of local police and DoA (Department of Archelogy) started the restoration process by collecting the windows and doors. Then, eventually fixing every part by fencing and scaffolding as they go.
Present Condition – Patan Durbar Square
As per the present condition, the Durbar is open to visitors after the restoration is completed and also a chowk named Sundari Chowk can be used for traveling purposes.
Major Attractions of Patan Durbar Square
Krishna Mandir is one of the major centers of attraction in Patan. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and was built around 1667 (17th century). It was built by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla.
The three-storied temple is completely made up of stones and has 21 shrines altogether. The style of architecture of the temple is Granthakuta. In addition, the temple has stories of the Mahabharata engraved on friezes and wall ceilings.
Bhimsen Temple is one of the renowned temples and is worshiped by Lord Bhimsen who is believed to be the God of Business and Trade. This temple is three-storied with a rectangular base and was built by Srinivasa Malla in 1680.
The great thing about this temple is that the temple has three golden windows which are interconnected with one another and have arts and crafts carved on every wall and a window of the temple. Bhimsen is a great personality from the religious book Mahabharat.
Vishwanath Temple was built in 1627 by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla and is dedicated to Lord Shiva (Lord of all). The temple is popular for its erotic carvings on the roof.
Moreover, the temple has two stone elephants guarding the entrance. There are statues of a bull, Shiva’s vehicle and the stone linga worshiped inside the temple.
Taleju Bhawani Temple
As in the Kathmandu Durbar Square, there is a temple of Taleju Bhawani in Patan also. It was also built by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla in 1640. In 1667 there was a fire and the temple was rebuilt by Srinivasa Malla. The temple is three-storied with a shikhara style.
Taleju Bhawani is the personal deity of the Malla kings. The temple is five-storied and has triple roofs. It is believed that the temple was built in the 14th century by the Pradhanas.
The part of Patan durbar square is now a museum and is open to the public after restoration. There you can see different bronze statues and swords, historical books, and religious objects.
The museum is filled with artifacts, traditional arts, statues, and crafts from ancient times. The museum was built in 1997 by Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah.
Hiranya Varna Mahavihar
The Hiranya Varna Mahavihar is also popularly known as The Golden Temple. It is located at kwabadehu and was built by King Bhaskar Verma in the 12th century.
The temple is a three-storied pagoda-style temple. The temple has golden statues and images of the Lord Buddha along with a large prayer wheel. Moreover, this temple is popular for feeding rats.
This window was built in honor of King Siddhi Narasingha Malla for his devotion to Lord Krishna and the Buddhist God of compassion, Karunamaya Lokeshwar.
The golden door of the Patan is obviously the entrance to the palace. The gate or entrance was installed in 1734. The gate is defined as a golden Torana showing Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, and Kumar (an incarnation of Skanda, the god of war).
The timber frame above the door is also wrapped with gold foil. It is said that the king made public appearances from the golden gate.
This temple is called both Mahabouddha and Mahabuddha. The temple is an honor to Lord Buddha and the temple is a Shikhara style with five golden pinnacles. The temple represents the five basic elements of existence.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was Patan Durbar Square listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Patan Durbar Square was listed in 1979 by UNESCO on the world heritage list.
What makes Patan so famous?
Patan is the center of Lalitpur and has one of the royal palaces, Patan Durbar Square. Visiting the palace you can get insights into the Malla regime’s arts, crafts, statuses, and many more due to which it has become the famous sightseeing destination of Nepal.
What are the other names of Patan?
Since ancient times Patan is the only name but now it is popular as Lalitpur.